|Founded 📆||Norway 2000|
Area served 🗺️
|Martin Wilson, CEO|
Number of employees
Luup is a bank-grade mobile payment solution that allows users to pay, send and receive money via their mobile phone. Luup is building an international mobile money transfer network by partnering with banks and financial institutions around the world. Luup specialises in payment facilitation, the development of user interface solutions via SMS or mobile payment applications and the hosting of stored value accounts for financial institutions. Customers using Luup can pay for goods and services, donate to charities, pay bills or send money to family & friends using their mobile device.
Luup is a trademark of Swiss company Contosoft. Luup was originally developed by Contopronto, a privately owned Norwegian company with operations in Norway, Germany and the UK. It was established in 2000 with the intention to develop a technologically advanced payment system that would be used with mobile phones. In 2002, following nearly two years of development activities, Contopronto received its e-money small issuer's licence from the Norwegian Department of Finance, which enabled them to launch the first mobile payment system and to issue e-money. The Luup mobile payment solution was first launched in Norway in July 2002 under the Contopronto name.
Luup from then on, was a regulated service and complies with all applicable national and international rules and regulations such as relevant EC Directives regarding issuance of electronic money and payments. Luup was strictly regulated by the financial authorities of each country of operation, including the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway in Norway and the UK FSA. Luup also has a pan-European E-Money license.
In June 2004, Contopronto sold the product assets, i.e. the software solutions, and associated rights and responsibilities to the Swiss company Contosoft. From this point, Contopronto would focus on mobile and online payment activities in Europe, while licensing the necessary software from Contosoft. Contosoft would concentrate on maintaining and developing the mobile payment systems software and licensing the solution to companies and other interested parties throughout the rest of the world.
In April, 2005, following a period of further product development, Contopronto launched its new and improved payment solution in Norway. The new payment solution was branded "Luup". During 2005, Contopronto opened offices in the UK and Germany and started to test the service in these markets as well. The brand "Luup" fully replaced Contopronto at this time.
In 2008 Luup changed its business model to work on a business-to-business basis only. This was done in order to expand globally in a quicker manner than the business-to-consumer model would have allowed the company. Following this strategic change all end-user accounts were closed down over 2008 and 2009 and Luup started in its new model.
Since this change Luup has entered into partnerships with banks and financial institutions in the Middle East and key countries in Asia to support mobile payments and remittance services. In February 2007 Contosoft signed an agreement with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), which allows every NBAD customer to use the Luup Mobile Payment Network. This service was launched in 2008. In 2009 Luup also entered into a partnership with Deutsche Bank's Global Transaction Banking business.
Luup is building an international mobile transaction network by partnering with banks and financial institutions around the world. Today it is possible to use Luup for:
- Remittance - Luup offers a highly cost-effective solution for foreign workers wishing to send money to their home countries. Firstly, a user does not have to hold a bank account to receive money via Luup, which means that workers can be paid directly to their mobile phone without needing to get a bank account in their country of employment. They can then send the money via Luup to someone in another country for a fraction of the cost of a normal international money transfer.
- Person to Person payments - Whether it's splitting a bill, paying a friend back or transferring money for a private transaction, Luup facilitate a very simple way to make personal payments.
- Goods and services - Luup users can use their mobile phones to pay in shops and for various services such as taxis.
- Charity donations - Charities can now receive donations by SMS without facing hefty charges to mobile phone operators. Luup is currently in partnership with over 40 charities including Amnesty International and Acorns, allowing Luup users to donate to these charities by SMS.
Services previously offered
- Mobile-ticketing or M-ticketing - Luup enables an end-to-end mobile ticketing solution, where the user sends a message to buy the ticket and receives a barcode ticket which can then be swiped to allow entrance. For example, the Eden Project in Cornwall has developed a system with mobile payment provider Luup which allows people to order, pay for and redeem their tickets using their mobiles.
- Top-up for pre-paid mobile phones - Luup enables customers to top-up their prepaid mobile phones. This service allows users to buy airtime for their mobile phones from their mobile phones.
Contopronto was a financially regulated institution with one of the first pan-European E-money licenses to be issued under the European Union E-money Directive, making them fully compliant with money laundering regulations and suspicious activity reporting requirements in all of our countries of operation. Contopronto was authorised and regulated by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway, the UK Financial Services Authority, and the German Bundesamt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht.
Luup's services under the business-to-business model do not require such regulation. Luup thus no longer holds its E-money license.
Safety and security
In order to use the Luup service a user must choose a user name or use their mobile phone number as their unique identifier. They must also choose a password and secret question & answer. They will then be given a PIN ("Personal Identification Number") once they have registered. When buying goods and services from online stores (merchants) they may have to enter their PIN.
Luup's mobile applications hold no sensitive data on the device while the user is not logged into the service. Luup also uses SMS but again, no sensitive data is transmitted over this channel.
- "Innovation Zone identifies cheaper access to SMS donations". Charity Times News. Charity Times. April 18, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
- "Eden Project becomes paperless ticket paradise". Computing.co.uk. Computing.co.uk. July 26, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
- Official site
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