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MAS directs Wirecard to cease payment services in Singapore, return customers' funds

MAS directs Wirecard to cease payment services in Singapore, return customers' funds

German payments giant Wirecard filed for insolvency after admitting that the €1.9 billion (US$2.2 billion) missing from its accounts did not exist. (AFP/Christof STACHE)

SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has directed embattled German payments firm Wirecard to cease their payment services in Singapore and to return all customers' funds by Oct 14.

In a news release on Wednesday (Sep 30), MAS said the move was "in the interest of the public" and that it "provides the greatest certainty to customers".

READ: Singapore charges Citadelle director with falsifying letters related to Wirecard

Wirecard’s primary business activities in Singapore are to process payments for merchants and help companies issue pre-paid cards.

MAS said it has been monitoring the impact of Wirecard's insolvent German business on its ability to continue providing payment services in Singapore. 

The authority said it has "closely engaged Wirecard SG in recent months to safeguard the interest of Wirecard SG’s customers", including requiring Wirecard SG to keep customers' funds in local banks and to assist them in switching to alternative service providers.

"Wirecard SG has informed MAS that it is unable to continue providing payment processing services to a significant number of merchants," MAS said.

READ: The rise and fall of Wirecard

READ: The man who led Wirecard into insolvency

With the cessation of Wirecard SG's services, credit card payments at merchants using Wirecard SG’s services, as well as usage of pre-paid cards issued by Wirecard SG, will be affected.

Other forms of e-payments such as NETS, PayNow and Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR) will continue to be available.

Customers who have not yet made alternative arrangements should do so promptly, MAS advised.

Munich-based Wirecard collapsed in June after its auditor EY refused to sign off on its 2019 accounts because it could not verify €1.9 billion (US$2.2 billion) supposedly held abroad in escrow by third-party partners.

Source: CNA/nh


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