Luno Bitcoin exchange review

By: Steven Hay | Last updated: 11/12/19

Luno is a Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange aimed mainly at developing countries such as Nigeria, Indonesia, Zambia and Malaysia. In this post I’ll review the company, its services and some frequently asked questions about it.

Luno Review Summary

Luno is a cryptocurrency exchange aimed mainly at emerging markets. Luno offers Bitcoin services to countries such as Malaysia, Nigeria and Indonesia which are usually not allowed on most Bitcoin exchanges.

While Luno offers very competitive fees, its fee schedule is confusing and its important to check in advance how much you’ll pay.

If you want a detailed review of Luno keep on reading. Here’s what I’ll cover in this post:

  1. Luno Overview
  2. Luno Services
  3. Currencies and Payment Methods
  4. Fees
  5. Luno Buying Limits
  6. Supported Countries
  7. Customer Support and Reviews
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Conclusion

1. Luno Overview

Established in 2013 originally as BitX and rebranded to Luno in 2016, Luno has offices in 3 cities around the world – London, Cape Town and Singapore.

The company serves over 2 million users from over 40 countries worldwide and has over 100 employees. The company is based in the UK and has raised over $13m from prominent investors such as Ventura Capital and Digital Currency Group.


2. Luno Services

Luno offers several services for its users including a cryptocurrency trading platform, a brokerage service, a Bitcoin wallet and an API for developers.

Your Luno account is controlled through a simple dashboard that gives you access to different sections such as the instant buy / sell service, account reports, settings, etc.

luno dashboard

Luno’s trading platform

Luno offers a Bitcoin to fiat trading platform for its users. The platform supplies users with features such as advanced charting, API access for automated trading, various indicators and in depth reporting.

Luno’s trading volume at its trading platform is rather tiny, comparing to other trading platforms around. This is probably due to the fact that the site serves mainly visitors from developing markets.

The fee structure for the exchange is pretty competitive mainly for market makers.

Luno’s instant buy / sell (brokerage service)

Like many other exchanges out there, Luno offers a “simple” way to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum without the need to use to confusing trading platform.

Luno simplifies the buying process by selling you the coins directly and charging a premium fee for their services. How much of a fee? It’s hard to tell.

Fees vary between country and purchase amount so every transaction will end up having a different fee. That’s a bit of a downside in my opinion, and if you do end up using this service, make sure to double check the fees.

Luno mobile wallet

Luno offers a custodial Bitcoin wallet for iOS and Android that can be paired to your Luno account. This gives you greater flexibility to access your Luno account on the go, however it also means that you’re not in control over your Bitcoins.

The coins in your wallet are under Luno’s control and you can’t get access to the private key / seed of your Bitcoins if you needed to.

Luno for Business

A service allowing you to securely transact, trade and store cryptocurrency for your company. Is aimed at trading firms, miners, startups etc. that want to send or receive payments in crypto.
Trade cryptocurrencies on the Luno Exchange and execute automated strategies using the API


3. Luno Currencies and Payment Methods

Luno supports the buying and selling of the following cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)

Luno accepts the following fiat currencies:

  • Euro (EUR)
  • Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
  • Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
  • Nigerian Naira (NGN)
  • South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Zambian Kwacha (ZMW)

Luno accepts the following payment methods:

  • Debit / Credit card (EUR)
  • SEPA (EUR)
  • Bank transfer (IDR and NGN)
  • Interbank Giro / IBFT (MYR)
  • Card deposit  (NGN)
  • Paystack  (NGN)
  • GT Bank transfer (NGN)
  • EFT (ZAR)
  • Cash deposit penalty (ZAR)

Keep in mind that different payment methods have different fees incorporated within them, so make sure to double check before completing a deposit. 0

Interestingly enough, credit and debit card deposits are free of charge with Luno, whereas at most other exchanges you can be charged up to 5%.


4. Luno Fees

Luno has the following fees associated with its services:

  • Deposit fees (for certain payment methods)
  • Transaction fees (only for takers)
  • Withdrawal fees
  • Sending / Receiving fees from your Luno account to other Bitcoin addresses

Transactions are based on a taker maker fee schedule (you can read/watch a detailed explanation about that here). Makers don’t pay anything while takers can end up paying anywhere between 0.25%-1% depending on the currencies they are trading.

It’s important to note that if you use Luno’s ‘instant buy’ feature, fees will vary depending on your country and amount of purchase. Make sure to double check before completing the transaction so you don’t end up paying more than you intended.

Luno’s fee structure is very confusing, it can be viewed in detail here.


5. Luno Buying Limits

Luno has several account levels depending on the quality of your identity verification.

Deposit limits depend on your account verification level:

Level 0 (email verification) – can’t deposit / withdraw fiat at all

Level 1 (phone verification) – can deposit / withdraw up to 1000 Euros in total

Level 2 (ID verification) –  can deposit / withdraw up to 5000 Euros per month

Level 3 (proof of residence) –  can deposit / withdraw up to 100,000 Euros per month

If you’re using the ‘instant buy’ feature you also have limits on how much Bitcoin / fiat you can buy in each order you submit. For example – you are limited to spending up to 8,000 EUR per order.


6. Supported Countries

Luno is open to the following European countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

It is also open for users from:

  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Zambia

7. Customer Support and Reviews

Luno has a very basic knowledge centre available on their website. There’s also an option for dedicated email support if needed.

At the time of writing Luno is doing relatively poor from a customer review perspective, rated “Poor” on TrustPilot. Most complaints are about locked accounts or funds that haven’t arrived on time. Luno seems to be trying to respond to most of the critical reviews.

It’s important to remember that customer support is probably the weakest link at any cryptocurrency exchange. It’s not uncommon to see ratings such as these for the most successful exchanges like Coinbase or even Bitstamp.


8. Frequently Asked Questions

Is Luno a Bitcoin Wallet?

No. Luno, is a Bitcoin exchange that supplies custodial wallet services (i.e. you don’t own the private keys).

Is Luno Safe?

Luno is considered a safe exchange in general. Until today the exchange has never suffered any major hack. Additionally Luno has several features allowing you to safeguard your account such as:

2fa – Adding Two Factor Authentication (2fa) to your account will add an additional layer of security. Each time you will log in you will be requested to supply an additional code that will be sent to a 2fa app on your mobile phone.

Disabling “send” – Luno allows users to disable the “send” option from their account. This way if your account gets hacked, no funds can be sent from it. Once you enable the “send” option, 24 hours will need to pass until sending will be available.

Touch id – iOS users can add the touch id verification to their account as well.

Is my BVN Safe with Luno?

Yes. With your BVN, Luno will NOT be able to access your bank account or your financial information. Luno stores all your personal information, including your BVN in a secure, encrypted form.

The Bank Verification Number (BVN) was introduced by banks in Nigeria to help protect customers from identity theft and fraud. As a financial services provider, Luno requires that Nigerian customers provide  their BVN when upgrading their Luno accounts to buy cryptocurrency.

The BVN will help Luno protect you from identity theft, improve service delivery speeds and help restore access to your Luno account in the event that you lose your login details.

How do You Use Luno?

  1. Sign up at Luno
  2. Verify your identity
  3. Deposit money to your Luno account
  4. Buy Bitcoin or Ethereum with your funds

9. Conclusion – Is Luno Trustworthy?

To sum things up, it seems Luno has found their niche in the emerging markets. The company is highly focused on the main cryptocurrencies in countries that are usually overlooked by most other exchanges.

The website is solid, supplying users with all of the basics for buying or trading cryptocurrencies. Putting the limited geo availability aside (as this is more of a feature than a downside), the only thing I’d look out for is the dynamic fee schedule.

Since each country and action you take on the site has different fees, it’s important to make sure you don’t end up overpaying because of a hidden fee.

Have you used Luno? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comment section below.

Luno

8.2

Fees

7.5/10

Ease of use

9.2/10

Support

8.0/10

Reputation

8.2/10

Pros

  • Easy and intuitive interface
  • Supports developing countries
  • Reputable company

Cons

  • Confusing fee structure
  • Custodial wallet

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Goku
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Goku

It’s a scam. Don’t put your money in it. Stay away. They will disable your account anytime without any valid reason.

Alex
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Alex

Worst exchange ever.
It doesn’t say that they access Visa only, so no deposits via Mastercard. Also I was unable to deposit via SEPA bank transfer, contacted their customer support, which as it looks like is there to send you links to their Help pages with articles that are irrelevant to your problem.

So ye, don’t waste your time.

Mr. ED
Guest
Mr. ED

I can not use sending option. It’s easy to open LUNO account but hard to withdraw or send your cryptocurrency to other wallets. I’m pretty sure, it’s scam!!!

Ekene
Guest
Ekene

Stupid, idiotic, useless platform. I placed a withdrawal from my account since August 22 but I have not received it till today. I have done everything they requested yet no result and they’re not replying my messages any longer.

David Lyons
Guest
David Lyons

Luno have now made telephone contact with me yesterday in response to my providing the further identification evidence they asked for last Sunday. A polite and direct customer support person wanted to check my regular place of habitat, how long I would be in a foreign county, along with a number of typical security questions. At the end of the call she said that she was satisfied with my answers and that my account would be unblocked within 24 hours. She also sent an email to this effect after the phone call. I hope this is the case and my… Read more »

David Lyons
Guest
David Lyons

Luno blocked my account for no reason given that I had already verified my identity when opening the account, have google authenticator security on my account. I have now followed their further verification process 2 days ago and my account is still blocked. Yet, Luno were happy enough to receive further funds for further BC purchases after sending an email saying the matter (what matter?) had been resolved. No it hadn’t!! Very poor customer service which sends out template emails to customer contact emails, meaning that one has multiple tickets with them which you have never asked for.

Lynn Katsoulis
Guest
Lynn Katsoulis

Luno seems to be a scam! After a year of using the well-designed platform that is easy to use, all our funds were stolen from my account. It has been impossible to get a reliable answer from Luno. They will not give out phone numbers, there is no address and they only answer emails. You keep getting bounced back to the beginning of an automated cycle with no continuity in the response.
Stay away from them!!

Peter Wilson
Guest
Peter Wilson

Luno is a scam NEVER ever go near it. As soon as I made a deposit my account was “Locked” as they put it. Why not lock it before I put any funds in there? Why is my account only suspicious AFTER they have my money. Then when you contact their so called support (what a joke) they spin you around and around asking you for more and more ID, selfies with hand written notes with the date on. They must sit there laughing when they get all these daft pictures. I tell you one thing that doesn’t happen, you… Read more »

Nokuthula Mkhize
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Nokuthula Mkhize

I put money in after creating my account and I got the details such as password but the next time I wanted to check progress the very same password was wrong and I tried creating another password wrote it down and used it to enter and that was wrong too so I ended up leaving it like that I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing

Jessica Chaster
Guest
Jessica Chaster

To be fair, despite their sleek looking platform, their fees are somewhat exorbitant, not competitive at all in comparison to GDAX / Binance etc., not to mention their trading options are extremely limited & unintuitive.

If you got some money to burn, go trade somewhere else. Their chart are overtly minimalistic (not helpful at all), which means you’ll have to install another app / go to other sites to pore over live trends & patterns.