Luxembourg’s got a shiny new shopping blog

good idea from istockphotoLuxembourg’s CLC (commerce association) has gone web 2.0 and launched a blog at to promote Luxembourg as the “pôle” for shopping in the greater region. Interestingly, the blog is available in French and English only. German speaking visitors can still admire the pictures. Let’s see how this one evolves (remember blogdelux, another Vanksen Culturebuzz project?).

Apparently, some sort of Luxembourgish product and retail store search engine is in the works, too. The idea seems to be that you enter the product and it tells you where you can find what you want in Luxembourg and why you shouldn’t drive to Trier instead. Just kidding about the Trier part. 😉

BTW, the young woman chewing on her shopping bag on is file number 3563163 from iStockphoto [affiliate link].
Happy shopping!

Note: This blog here has moved to a new server at Hosteurope [affiliate link] (and has been updated to the latest version of WordPress), please let me know if something’s broken.

Good news from Paypal and Moneybookers

It was a bizarre situation: Paypal had acquired a bank license and transferred its headquarters  to Luxembourg and still, if you were a Paypal customer in Luxembourg, your only option was to withdraw funds to a U.S. bank account or to spend them. Withdrawal to a local bank account or to an account in another EU member state? No way.

At least, that used to be the situation until…  well, I have no idea when they actually changed this, but anyhow: It’s finally possible to withdraw money to a bank account in Luxembourg!

Paypal - withdraw funds in Luxembourg

As you can see, you can alternatively withdraw funds to a credit/debit card (this feature had been announced on the Paypal Blog in September).

I’m just glad I didn’t go through the trouble of establishing a bank account in the U.S. just to be able to withdraw funds.


In other “news that I apparently missed”, Paypal competitor Moneybookers [affiliate link] is allowing merchants to accept payments with the French Carte Bleue. As far as I know, this is the first and only option to accept the Carte Bleue without the need to establish a merchant account (compte commerçant) with a French bank.

While most Carte Bleues (>90%?) are nowadays co-branded with the Visa logo, giving potential customers in France the additional option of using the Carte Bleue Nationale sounds like a good idea to me, especially if the implementation is as simple as it is with Moneybookers.

I’m about to change my company’s online shops’ payment pages and might post again in a few weeks about the acceptance of Moneybooker’s Carte Bleue payment option.

SAS removes Dash 8 Q400 from service permanently

Following the 3rd incident (video link) in a few weeks with the landing gear of a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, SAS has decided to permanently remove all their remaining Q400 from service, despite Bombardier’s claims that this incident was different from the two previous ones.

“SAS’s flight operations have always enjoyed an excellent reputation and there is a risk that use of the Dash 8 Q400 could eventually damage the SAS brand,” said John Dueholm, Deputy CEO of SAS.

According to Wikipedia, “in all, seven Q400s have had landing gear failures while landing during 2007: four in Denmark, one in Germany, one in Japan, one in Lithuania and one in South Korea.”

This makes me wonder if Luxair is regretting their purchase of three Q400 (with an option for another three) and the publicity surrounding their recent start of operations. Although I think it is highly unlikely that Luxair’s brand new planes will suffer from similar problems anytime soon (SAS was an early operator), passengers’ doubts about the safety of this type of aircraft could quickly offset all cost advantages.

Ironically, the planes were originally supposed to “reflect and emphasize” Luxair’s goals of establishing itself as regional carrier known for “quality and security”. Now they might very well have the opposite effect.

Note: For the latest rumors and news on the Q400, visit (direct link to thread). 

Luxembourg’s e-volution

dot luWhen I tried to find online shops in Luxembourg (for a Google Custom Search project) a few months ago, I came across many sites which looked like they had not been updated for years. My overall impression was that e-business in Luxembourg was mostly a matter of taking advantage of the low VAT rate to serve customers in other EU countries while nothing much was happing in Luxembourg itself. Consider the absurd example of Paypal, which now holds a Luxembourgish bank license and still does not allow it’s customers here to withdraw funds to a local bank account.

However, recent developments point in a very different direction. Here’s a list of internet projects which show that the e-conomy (sorry, I’ll stop this now 😉 ) is very much alive in Luxembourg: Continue reading Luxembourg’s e-volution