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August 7, 2020

On the web

Singapore Police Bring First Charges Linked to Wirecard

Wall Street Journal (pay wall)

“Singapore police brought their first criminal charges against an individual linked to the suspected fraud at Wirecard AG WDI -3.16% , the one-time German technology star that collapsed at the end of June after admitting more than $2 billion of cash on its balance sheet was fake. The city-state’s white collar crime division charged R. Shanmugaratnam, a director and owner of Citadelle Corporate Services Pte Ltd., with falsifying papers that showed more than €100 million ($118 million) in three separate escrow accounts held on behalf of Wirecard, according to charge sheets reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.”

July 16, 2020

On the web

How Germany’s SEC Dismissed a Decade of Warnings About Wirecard

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Germany’s top financial supervisor received detailed warnings about deceptive financial practices at Wirecard AG starting in 2008 but repeatedly declined to investigate the allegations, turning instead against the accusers. Over more than a decade, investors, U.S. authorities, journalists and people close to the company warned of possible fraudulent accounting or money laundering, practices that are now at the heart of a criminal investigation into the disgraced fintech giant. …”

July 9, 2020

On the web

Germany Probes Possible Money Laundering by Wirecard Executives

Wall Street Journal (pay wall)

“German state prosecutors are looking into possible money laundering by executives at Wirecard AG WDI -4.62% , adding to ongoing probes related to possible fraud and fake accounting at the insolvent payments firm. A spokeswoman for the Munich public prosecutor said it was conducting several legal cases related to possible money laundering at Wirecard, the oldest dating as far back as 2010. Some investigations are ongoing. A Wirecard spokeswoman declined to comment.”

July 2, 2020

On the web

SoftBank Seeks to End Partnership With Wirecard

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“SoftBank Group Corp. is looking to distance itself from Wirecard AG, after the Japanese tech conglomerate helped arrange a $1 billion investment months before the German payments company went bust. One of the world’s largest technology investors, SoftBank is seeking to terminate a five-year partnership its investment arm formed with Wirecard in April 2019, according to people familiar with the matter.”

June 30, 2020

On the wires

Wirecard North America Inc. Pursues Acquisition

“Wirecard North America Inc., a separate legal and business entity of Wirecard AG with over 20 years in the payments industry, today announced that it is seeking acquisition. An investment bank is coordinating the sale process. Wirecard North America is a self-sustaining entity that is substantially autonomous from Wirecard AG. Wirecard North America was formerly the Citi Prepaid Card Services business, which Wirecard AG acquired in 2016. Since the acquisition, Wirecard North America has remained a separate legal entity. Wirecard AG will continue to have no impact on decision-making and financials at Wirecard North America.”

June 26, 2020

On the web

Wirecard Auditors Face Legal Action After Collapse of Scandal-hit Payments Firm


Wirecard’s auditors are being faced with legal action after the collapse of the scandal-hit German payments firm. The German shareholders’ association SdK said Friday that it had filed a criminal complaint against auditors at EY. SdK’s complaint targets two current employees and one former employees of Wirecard’s long-time auditor.   The accountancy last week refused to sign off Wirecard’s 2019 books after discovering 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) of cash had gone missing from its balance sheet.”

June 25, 2020

On the web

Wirecard Files for Insolvency After Revealing Accounting Hole

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Battered German fintech company Wirecard AG said it is filing for insolvency proceedings, days after revealing that more than $2 billion in cash missing from its balance sheet probably didn’t exist. The move is the latest in a startlingly swift unwind for a company that until recently was a shining star in Europe’s tech scene. Wirecard would be the first insolvent company in the DAX 30, Germany’s premier stock-market index.”

June 23, 2020

On the web

Inside Wirecard, a Deposit-Taking Bank Helped Fuel Growth

Bloomberg (paywall)

“Before its dramatic fall from grace last week, Wirecard AG counted on a small banking unit just outside of Munich to help drive stellar growth in its main payments business. Now Wirecard Bank AG, which attracts deposits by offering customers market-leading interest rates, is at the center of attention as clients ask if they’ll get their money back, regulators watch warily for fallout in the financial system and investors worry whether the parent company has any kind of future. The unit has a full German banking license, meaning it can accept deposits and grant loans as well as facilitate the electronic payments that Wirecard is better known for. But it’s at the heart of the company because of its relationship with credit card companies Visa Inc. , Mastercard Inc. and JCB International, which are key to the firm as a whole staying in business.”

June 18, 2020

On the web

Wirecard shares plunge after saying auditor can’t find billions of missing cash


“Shares in Wirecard lost nearly two-thirds of their value as the German payment processor said on Thursday its auditor can’t find evidence for a quarter of the cash on its balance sheet. Wirecard shares close 63% lower as the firm said Ernst & Young said it didn’t have sufficient audit evidence for €1.9 billion euros in cash. “There are indications that spurious balance confirmations had been provided from the side of the trustee,” the company said.”

May 26, 2020

On the web

Wirecard postpones issuing annual results again

Financial Times

“Wirecard has postponed the publication of its 2019 annual results for the third time this year as its auditor EY needs additional time to finish its work, the German payments company said in a regulatory statement issued after markets closed on Monday night. The Aschheim-based group is facing accusations of accounting manipulation raised by whistleblowers and reported by the Financial Times.”

April 28, 2020

On the web

Wirecard Tumbles As Questions Remain After Special Audit

Wall Street Journal (pay wall)

“Shares in German electronics-payments giant Wirecard dropped more than 20% on Tuesday after a special audit reviewing allegations about some of its accounting practices left unanswered questions. Wirecard, which has been celebrated as one of the biggest and fastest-growing European fintech companies, also said it would not report its already delayed full-year 2019 results on Thursday. The troubled company said it would complete its ordinary audit of 2019 results with its main auditor, E&Y in Germany, as soon as possible given the restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic and the completion of the special audit by KPMG.”

April 20, 2020

On the wires

Wirecard and Visa Collaborate on Visa Fintech Fast Track Program in the Middle East

“Wirecard, the global innovation leader for digital financial technology, today announced they have signed an agreement to be the preferred payment processor for Visa to bolster the Visa Fintech Fast Track Program in the Middle East region. The Visa Fintech Fast Track Program enables fintech partners to develop new commerce experiences leveraging the reach, capabilities, and security that VisaNet, the company’s global payment network, offers. As a strategic partner of Visa, Wirecard will provide its financial technology and payment solutions, as well as its in-depth market expertise aimed at accelerating growth and innovation within the thriving payment and fintech community in the region.”

August 2, 2019

On the wires

Wirecard and Sisal Group – Through SisalPay – Enter Strategic Cooperation to Drive Digital Payments in Italy


“Wirecard, the global innovation leader for digital financial technology, and Sisal Group, through its brand SisalPay, have signed an agreement to partner in the field of digital payments. With more than 200 million transactions per year, 40,000 points of sale and 15 million customers, SisalPay already offers one of the most successful payment services in Italy and is regulated by the Italian central bank, Banca d’Italia. Users can access more than 500 individual services, including utility bills payments, tax payments, mobile phone top-ups, and subscriptions to digital TV services. The target of the new cooperation between Wirecard and the Sisal Group is to make contactless payments as simple and user friendly as possible.”

July 23, 2019

On the wires

Wirecard Cooperates With Morocco’s National Airline Royal Air Maroc to Integrate Digital Payments Globally


“Wirecard, the global innovation leader for digital financial technology, is handling payments for online and travel agency bookings for Royal Air Maroc, Morocco’s national airline, and one of Africa’s leading and fastest growing airlines. Royal Air Maroc is set to join the oneworld alliance in mid-2020, and has annual passenger figures of 7.4 million with an average of 245 daily departures. In 2018, Royal Air Maroc and its subsidiaries generated revenues of EUR 1.5 billion. In addition to processing all online Visa, Mastercard and Maestro payments for Royal Air Maroc, Wirecard also handles credit card payments made via travel agency or airline agent ticket transaction settlement systems, such as ARC (Accounts Receivable Conversion) and IATA’s Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP), which serves more than 400 participating airlines and in 2018 processed more than EUR 221.6 billion.”

July 19, 2019

On the wires

Wirecard and ALDI Sign MOU and Agree Collaboration

Wirecard Press Room

“Wirecard (…) and ALDI Nord and ALDI SÜD Groups have signed an MOU and plan to work together in the area of cashless payments. Within the scope of the partnership, Wirecard will process all credit card and international debit card payments at all ALDI stores in Germany. The possibility of expanding the cooperation is also being considered.”

June 24, 2019

On the web

Wirecard Launches Pilot for Banking and Payment App Boon Planet

Retail Banker International

“Germany-based Wirecard is launching boon Planet, an app focused on mobile payment and banking services. boon Planet allows users to handle a wide variety of services on just one app. Customers can open an account in a few minutes, see a complete overview of all finances and make contactless payments, both via smart device and card. For its first phase, several hundred accounts will test the service. The full launch will be from October this year in Germany. Existing boon payment users and Wirecard customers will have the opportunity to add banking to their account via the app. New users will also be able to register for both services.”

August 2, 2018

On the web

June 15, 2018

On the wires

Wirecard Launches Supply Chain Payment Platform Based On Blockchain Technology


“Wirecard is expanding its existing digital payment and banking platform with the supply chain payment solution based on blockchain technology. The prototype focusses on linking merchants with producers, capturing all business processes in so-called “smart contracts” – digital contracts based on blockchain – while minimizing the risk of fraud. In this way, all steps along the commercial chain, from drawing up contracts, to quality assurance and guarantee of origin, are mapped transparently in a decentralized database. Digitalization is therefore now shaping global supply chains where today many processes are still conducted via analogue data carriers such as fax and written documents.”

March 12, 2018

On the web

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