What are Mobile Operator Payments?
Mobile Operator Payments in Luxembourg are available through two channels:
Both Premium SMS and Direct Billing payments are charged to subscribers through mobile operator invoices, on top of regular phone usage, as a separate item on the phone bill, in full transparency.
What is a short code?
A short phone number
A Premium SMS short code is a short sequence of digits used as a recipient or sender number for SMS text messages to charge mobile subscribers small amounts on top of the regular price of a text message. With 5 digits in Luxembourg, they are shorter than a normal phone number and therefore easier to remember.
Which amounts can be paid?
Payments up to 50 EUR
With Premium SMS, a price point is set for each short code, using specific short code ranges per price point. Each SMS text message sent to these short codes is charged to customers at this price. Today, the maximum price per SMS text is 3 EUR in Luxembourg. Alternatively, with the Direct Billing feature, maximum amounts of up to 50 EUR can be charged.
Why use Mobile Operator Payments?
It’s quick & easy to use
Premium SMS and Direct Billing are the easiest, fastest and safest means of digital payment. They are available to virtually all mobile subscribers in Luxembourg, not requiring a specific activation. Using Premium SMS and Direct Billing, consumers can very easily and quickly purchase digital products and services or make donations.
Where to pay with Premium SMS or Direct Billing?
There are a number of interesting, entertaining and useful services that you can purchase easily via Premium SMS and Direct Carrier Billing:
Mobile Operator Billing is one of the most straightforward and commonly used payment methods in the world, because all you have to do is send and/or receive an SMS message or agree to a payment on a mobile web page – features that are supported by every smartphone. It is also a very safe way of paying, as an explicit consent is required for each individual payment or subscription, given by the owner of a mobile number, avoiding risk of loss and theft that consumers are subject to with cash or card payments.
Premium SMS charging mechanism and methods
One Off Payments - SMS Premium
A few examples:
Subscription-based Billing - SMS Premium
A few examples:
Direct Billing mechanisms
I purchased a service and paid for it over Direct Billing. How will it be charged to me?
The purchase you just made will be charged to your next mobile phone bill. Charging is either one-off or recurring (e.g. weekly, monthly …).
Is this safe, can anyone charge me without my consent?
At the moment you agree to a Direct Billing payment, the ownership of your mobile number will be verified with your mobile operator. So this type of consent requires the person that gives it to be in possession/have access to a phone. After your purchase, a SMS text notification will be sent to your mobile number providing the details of the transaction or subscription.
The Luxembourg Mobile Operator Payments framework
Stakeholders in the Luxembourg market
All Luxembourg mobile operators that provide Premium SMS (and Direct Billing) directly or indirectly
A timeline of Premium SMS services in Luxembourg
Use cases in Luxembourg
Amnesty international supporters may donate by subscribing to the NGO’s newsletter that will be sent to them in a Premium SMS text message once or twice a month (charged at a Premium SMS price point).
Street parking payments on the Ville de Luxembourg territory can be triggered through Premium SMS text messages (Call2Park). It is a hybrid setup where SMS texts are charged at a 2 x 0.25 EUR Premium rate, but the actual fee for the parking is paid with bank credit/debit cards.
Also known as “Allopass”, this international player allows users to pay for getting access to digital content published and operated by a variety of digital service editors (dating, gaming, social networks…).
Yet, the above mentioned mobile operator payment services are nonetheless subject to thorough quality controls with mobiles operators and aggregators promoting best practices, guidelines and self-regulation frameworks and initiatives in the industry.
*Article 3 (“Exclusions”) of the PSD2 (transposed in Luxembourg by the law of 20 July 2018 amending the Law of 10 November 2009 on payment services) excludes payment transactions by providers of electronic communications networks or services provided in addition to electronic communications services for a subscriber to the network or service for purchase of digital content and voice-based services up to the thresholds mentioned above. The mobile operator payment services provided therefore do not trigger the application of PSD2 obligations.