Mobile payment systems seem to be coming of age. Or maybe it’s just that when a market leader like Paypal launches something, the world takes notice? Whatever, there’s a few services around which look like they might be competing for space on your cell phone real soon now.

  • Paypal Mobile – 600lb gorilla of online payment systems goes back to its roots and offers mobile phone access for pay and receive. Watch this space to judge how the market will develop.
  • TextPayMe – Long standing mobile SMS payment system. US only, so a bit limited.
  • MobileLime – Another US only service, offering only retail sale transactions, no person to person transfers which again is rather limiting.
  • BillMyCell – kludgy and amateur looking service. Unsurprisingly low on the market radar.
  • LUUP – Interesting name, European only at the moment (Germany, Norway and UK), retail payment and person to person. Norwegian company. One to watch?

[Update: not to mention Obopay, with its included credit card and Paybox.]

SMS Text News: LUUP - mobile text payments:

"March 23, 2006
LUUP - mobile text payments

Link: LUUP - About the company.

Our vision is to build LUUP into the number one payment alternative in Europe, providing new purchasing freedom for consumers - both online and via the mobile phone. We aim to provide our business partners with a great new financial service and payment option for their customers.

Ed pointed out LUUP to me the other day. They're another 'TextPayMe', although it seems they've been in operation for quite some time. They've been absolutely nowhere near my radar though -- not surprising, given the lack of news on their site. The last item is currently from November 2005.

I'd be interested to see how Luup react to what's going on in North America.

And I'd also be interested to know who's angling to provide mobile payments to China's 400 million cellular users too."