national bank of abu dhabi announces luup m-payments roll out plan

Published September 12th, 2007 - 12:06 GMT

national bank of abu dhabi announces luup m-payments roll out plan

NBAD to become the global pioneer in modern m-payments; roll out to begin immediately to NBAD online banking services customers

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), announced the roll out plan for its recently announced partnership with LUUP, the leading mobile payment (m-payment) service provider in Europe and the Middle East, to enable secure money transfers and payments to registered users across the world. The plan, which was announced today at a press conference at NBAD headquarters in Abu Dhabi, will be rolled out in phases over a six month period.
In its final phase, LUUP’s m-payment technology will allow registered users in the UAE to use their mobile phones to make secure payments and money transfers to any bank, merchant, government service (such as utility bill payments) or person-to-person (P2P) across the world. LUUP users would also be able to download mobile content and other new age services within seconds and at a fraction of the cost.

“I am very happy to be here today to commemorate this occasion that brings together two leading business organizations for Norway and the United Arab Emirates,” said H.E. Anne Rikter-Svendsen, Ambassador of Norway. “As one of the most important markets in the region for Norwegian companies, our cooperation with the UAE’s government and private sector will continue and be strengthened with this successful endeavor.”

In 2006, trade between the UAE and Norway amounted to 1,149 billion Norwegian Kroner or AED725.091 million, making the UAE one of the most important markets for Norwegian companies in the whole Asia/Africa region. Today, more than 50 Norwegian companies, within a wide range of business areas, are established here.

“Our partnership with MVS and LUUP, which was announced earlier this year, has come to fruition. Over the past months, both parties have invested a lot of time and effort to make sure that this roll out of service happens smoothly”. “The fact that NBAD is the first bank in to roll out LUUP’s mobile payments technology illustrates our progressive mentality in adopting global technologies and services to better serve our customers”.

“NBAD is a pioneer is the m-payments space because the bank’s senior management realized early on that today’s payments system lags behind the technology that currently exists. The world is in a state of rapid change and the payments mechanisms need to keep pace” . “In a modern age where being mobile is becoming a necessity rather than a lifestyle, being able to pay your bills, transfer money to your family or top up your mobile credits from anywhere in the world and at any time is now a necessity”.

As communication technologies converge to multi-use hand held devices, utilizing GSM networks is becoming increasing appealing to service providers. This is especially true in the Middle East region where mobile phone penetration rates outstrip Internet penetration rates by far. In the UAE, for example, mobile penetration has exceeded 100 percent. LUUP’s m-payment technology therefore provides a platform that is accessible to a huge segment of society.

“We are constantly on the lookout for services that benefit our customers. We identified a very intriguing opportunity with LUUP early on and believe that the payment system for the modern world is now here,” said Saeed Al-Shamsi, Deputy Head of NBAD’s Retail Banking Group (RBG). Al Shamsi confirmed that “Training programs for front line and customer services staff has been ongoing to make sure that customers receive the required education and assurance to take advantage of this innovative new service.”

LUUP is a privately owned company with operations in Norway, Germany, Poland and the UK that provides an open technology platform for mobile phone-based e-payment transactions.

“This agreement marks the first launch of the LUUP payment system outside of Europe, where it is one of the first e-money services licensed by the European Commission. With a secure technology backbone which is in compliance with the European Commission’s money laundering regulations and suspicious activity reporting requirements,” said Morten Hofstad, MVS CEO. “LUUP users need only send a text message, and within a matter of seconds, rather than days, a secure transaction is completed in any currency and at a fraction of the cost of traditional fund transfers.”

The mobile payment technology branded LUUP was launched in the European market in 2002 by the EU regulated corporation Contopronto AS. Contopronto received one of the first pan-European E-money licenses to be issued under the European Union E-money Directive, making it fully compliant with money laundering regulations and suspicious activity reporting requirements. The LUUP payment service is currently being utilized by a rapidly increasing number of mobile device users in the United Kingdom, Poland, Norway and Germany. The LUUP technology is developed and maintained by Contosoft SA.

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