MAS orders Wirecard to stop credit cards and other payment services in Singapore
SINGAPORE – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has ordered Wirecard entities to cease payment services in Singapore, it announced on Wednesday (September 30th).
He added that these entities must return all their clients’ funds by October 14.
“MAS has monitored the impact of Wirecard AG’s insolvency on Wirecard SG’s ability to continue to provide payment services in Singapore,” he said.
“MAS has also closely engaged Wirecard SG in recent months to protect the interests of Wirecard SG customers. This includes requiring Wirecard SG to keep client funds in banks in Singapore and to help clients switch to other service providers.
Wirecard, a German digital payments company, filed for bankruptcy in June after revealing that 1.9 billion euros (S $ 3 billion) of money, supposedly in bank accounts in the Philippines, did not exist .
Singapore is home to Wirecard’s Asia-Pacific headquarters in Pasir Panjang.
Last year, police raided Wirecard’s office here after an employee alleged that a member of the company’s finance team had engaged in accounting offenses.
MAS noted that Wirecard SG told the authority that it was unable to continue providing payment processing services to a significant number of merchants.
Therefore, MAS considered that it was in the public interest for Wirecard SG to cease its payment services and promptly return all funds to its customers.
“This gives customers the greatest certainty as to the proper course of action, including finding alternative service providers,” he said.
He added that credit card payments at merchants using Wirecard SG’s services, as well as the use of prepaid cards issued by the company, would be affected.
Other forms of electronic payment such as Nets, PayNow and SGQR will continue to be available.
MAS also encouraged customers who have not yet made other arrangements to do so quickly, and merchants to turn to other payment processing service providers.
Banks such as DBS, United Overseas Bank and OCBC provide merchant acquisition services, in addition to other providers like Nets.
Wirecard’s main business activities in Singapore were processing merchant payments and helping businesses issue prepaid cards. Entities under Wirecard are currently not authorized by MAS.
The Payment Services Regulations 2019 (Exemption for a Specified Period) which were passed under the Payment Services Act 2019 provide a grace period ranging from six months to one year for companies providing certain regulated payment services require the corresponding license.
During this grace period, these companies can provide the regulated payment service without a license and the MAS can give them instructions.
The law regulates the provision of payment services in Singapore and entered into force on January 28 of this year.
Payment services governed by the law include new services such as merchant acquisition services and services that were already covered by previous legislation, such as currency exchange and cross-border money transfer services.