Payoneer Freezes All Prepaid Mastercard Cards amid Wirecard Money Scandal

The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ordered Wirecard Mastercard Cards Solutions Limited, a UK company with reference number FRN 900051 to stop all its regulation financial activities, in addition to some other restrictions.

The UK company is a sbsidiary of the German company Wirecard AG that filed for insolvency on Thursday. All Payoneer Prepaid Mastercard cards are affected considering they are issued by Wirecard UK.

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Wirecard AG, a German payment processor and financial services provider that is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, filed for insolvency on Thursday 25th June 2020 due to an on-going scandal regarding a missing $2 Billion. The huge accounting scandal has seen its now ex CEO Markus Braun being arrested. The shockwaves from Wirecard AG’s crash has extended all over the world.

Wirecard UK is authorised and supervised by the UK’s FCA to issue e-money and provide payment services including, issuing e-money onto prepaid cards. On 26 June 2020, the FCA imposed a number of requirements on Wirecard UK including, that the firm:

  • must not dispose of any assets or funds
  • must not carry on any regulated activities
  • must set out a statement on its website and communicate to customers that it is no longer permitted to conduct any regulated activities.
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This follows publication to the FCA’s Register of a number of requirements which have been applied to Wirecard’s authorisation from 19 June 2020.

One of the repercussions of the FCA’s action is the freezing of all prepaid card activity including those issued to Payoneer users. Part of Payoneer’s announcement to its users reads:

the fca has communicated that they have taken these measures with the primary objective of protecting the interests and money of wirecard customers. pending further actions from the fca, you will temporarily be unable to withdraw the funds on your card, nor receive new payments onto your card.

any funds that are in excess of the maximum balance of your card are held by payoneer and are therefore not impacted by the fca’s temporary freeze.

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While Payoneer believes that their cardholder funds are properly safeguarded and that the freeze will be temporary, they announced they are actively working on offering additional options.All Payoneer Prepaid Mastercard Cards are frozen due to Wirecard woesCLICK TO TWEET

Other fintech companies indirectly affected by the FCA’s action on Wirecard UK include Curve, Revolut and Pockit.

Payoneer is popular among freelancers in Africa who make money from online freelance work. Platforms that pay into Payoneer cards include Freelancer, Fiverr, gettyimages, upwork, 99designs, peopleperhour, topcoder, envato, Pond5, and affiliate by conversant.

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