Find out about options for mobile payments and mobile banking in Luxembourg, including account options for expats, in this handy guide.
Luxembourg has a high percentage of its population using online and mobile banking. Most banks in Luxembourg now offer digital banking options and expats can choose from a range of providers. This guide to mobile banking in Luxembourg provided by online bank N26 covers the key topics such as:
- Mobile banking in Luxembourg
- Features of mobile banking in Luxembourg
- Mobile payments in Luxembourg
- How to open a mobile bank account in Luxembourg
- Mobile banking fees in Luxembourg
- Mobile banking security in Luxembourg
- Useful resources
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Consumers in Luxembourg have been quick to get on board with the digital banking revolution. Recent figures show that 96% of account holders in the country use online or mobile banking. Residents have cited advantages such as mobile banking being practical, free and efficient.
Most banks in Luxembourg now offer a range of mobile banking services through banking apps. These include some of the big private banks in Luxembourg such as:
- BNP Paribas Fortis
- Credit Agricole
Newer digital and mobile-only banks that enable you to open and operate your account from anywhere in the world. These include:
Mobile banking in Luxembourg is available for both current and savings accounts with many banks. All you’ll need to do is download the banking app from the bank’s website or from a site such as Google Play onto your mobile device.
Mobile banking features vary across providers. Examples of features available with banks in Luxembourg include:
- 24/7 access to your accounts on your smartphone;
- the ability to make mobile payments including bill payments and money transfers;
- money management tools such as budget trackers and savings portfolio planners;
- secure online messaging system;
- up-to-date stock market information
There are some limitations as not all banking services are currently available through apps. Mobile-only banks don’t yet offer the full range of services available through traditional banks such as loans, mortgage options, and insurance.
Mobile banking in Luxembourg also needs good WiFi coverage. Fortunately, Luxembourg has good quality internet coverage.
Luxembourg has established itself as one of the leading innovators in Europe when it comes to mobile payments. The most popular provider of mobile payments in Luxembourg is local tech start up Digicash, which launched its smart phone payments app in 2014.
Digicash Beacon uses bluetooth technology to store payments on mobile devices and link with bank accounts without the need for other payment apps. It is used by around 25% of residents in Luxembourg.
Other mobile payment providers available in Luxembourg include:
- global providers such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal;
- smaller independent providers such as Swedish mobile wallet Seqr
These services use technology such as QR matrix codes and Near Field Communication (NFC) to enable users to pay bills and for goods in stores using their mobile phones.
According to a 2018 study of 15 nations carried out by Belgian bank ING, 43% of Luxembourg residents used a mobile device to make their last bill payment. This placed Luxembourg 7th out of the 15 countries and above the overall European consumer average of 40%.
Opening a mobile bank account in Luxembourg with a traditional bank
Opening an a mobile account with a bank in Luxembourg is pretty straightforward if you already have a standard account with the bank. All you will have to do is download the mobile banking app to your smart phone or mobile device and follow the instructions.
If you don’t already have an account, you will probably be required to open one first. Depending on the bank, you might be able to open the account online or you may have to visit a branch. See our guide on opening a bank account in Luxembourg for full details.
Opening a mobile bank account with a mobile-only bank
If you don’t already have a bank account in Luxembourg, this may be the most straightforward option. You can open a mobile-only bank account from your smart device in minutes. You will normally need to provide:
- Personal information including full name, date of birth and registered address;
- Mobile number and email address;
- biometric data such as fingerprint or profile photograph (only if you want to use the enhanced security protection features)
Mobile banks don’t usually ask for additional documentation. If they do require ID or proof of address, they will usually accept a scanned or photographed copy.
The ease of account set up with mobile-only banks makes it ideal for expats and those who travel a lot, as you don’t need to be fixed in one location to open or set up the account.
One of the big advantages of mobile banking is that administration overheads are reduced, meaning that services can be offered either free or low cost. Luxembourg customers have cited low cost as one of the biggest appeals of mobile banking apps.
Apps can be downloaded for free. Exact service costs will depend on your banking provider, but mobile banking is typically cheaper in terms of administration fees. For example, standard costs of mobile banking with Credit Agricole are around €2 a month.
As with traditional accounts, costs will vary depending on factors such as account type and service provided. Premium, advanced or high-level savings accounts will have higher monthly fees than basic accounts. There are also likely to be fees for services such as credit cards or borrowing functions, if available.
Some mobile banks and accounts may limit the number of free transactions per month, e.g. mobile payments or ATM withdrawals. Digicash mobile payments in Luxembourg are free, but you will need to check with your bank to see if any separate transaction fees are imposed. You should be able to get a full list of fees from your bank.
Despite the high volume of usage for mobile banking apps in Luxembourg, customers remain concerned about security issues and have mentioned data security among the main reasons for switching banks. However, enhanced security features associated with mobile banking make it the most secure way to manage your finances.
You can protect your mobile bank account in Luxembourg by following basic steps such as:
- protecting your account with biometric data such as fingerprint, voice or photo recognition. If this isn’t available, choose a high strength password and change it periodically;
- avoid using free networks offering free WiFi when logging into your account;
- check that any payments being made from your account are done so using a secure payment platform;
- never stay logged into your account or, if you do, make sure that your mobile device is security protected to prevent others from using it
Commission de Surveillance de Secteur Financier – regulator of financial services in Luxembourg