Protecting Wirex Customers from the Wirecard Situation

Region: Europe
Jul 2, 2020, 11:56:00 AM Published By Wirex Team

Safety, Security and Trust at Wirex - Protecting Customers from the Wirecard Situation 

Following the recent issues relating to Wirecard that have affected many leading Fintech firms, Wirex’s senior team have come together. In an open letter to our 3 million registered customers worldwide and the many more stakeholders and partners of Wirex, our CEO and co-founder, Pavel Matveev, has joined with Chief Compliance Officer, Michael Moore, and Group General Counsel, Dominique Simon, to transparently address these issues.

Pavel Matveev, CEO and Co-Founder

As CEO and co-founder of Wirex, our vision has always focused on breaking down barriers to encourage the mass adoption of cryptocurrency, and it is a priority that we apply the best regulatory, legal and compliance practices when doing so. For those affected by Wirecard's difficulties, the past few days have been difficult - both for stakeholders and consumers. The fintech and cryptocurrency spaces have made some big advances in the past 10 years, and in order to keep moving forward, it’s important that we reassure our 3 million customers that we’re a transparent and trusted company that’s taken the necessary steps to protect their money, regardless of any external factors that may affect this. Wirex is a licenced and regulated platform, that seeks licences where they exist, and applies ‘gold-plated’ standards where they do not. When developing partnerships with trusted third parties, we carry out extensive due diligence to ensure that they reflect our values to enable us to securely manage funds. With a team of over 200 employees working diligently around the clock to provide our industry-leading services, we want our customers to trust that their funds are safeguarded. This reassurance will allow them to continue to benefit from the ability to seamlessly buy, hold, exchange and spend multiple fiat and cryptocurrencies anywhere around the world using the Wirex platform.

Michael Moore, Chief Compliance Officer

As a global business that operates across multiple countries, it’s important to understand and abide by the individual regulatory frameworks of each country that we operate in. In order to exceed our commitment to safely and securely hold customer’s funds, we partner state-of-the-art infrastructure with in-depth expertise to minimise any risks to our customers and payments. We have mitigated the risk posed to customers by third parties, by ensuring that we work with multiple card issuers across the globe. As a result, only a minimal amount of our customer’s cards were actually issued by Wirecard, and this was limited exclusively to the APAC region. These cards were not issued by Wirecard Card Solutions based in the UK, meaning that our customers funds were not at risk nor frozen. By storing our customer’s funds on the Wirex platform and not Wirecard, we ensured that their funds were always safe and never at risk. By maintaining regular contact with the few customers that did have a Wirecard-issued card, we gave them peace of mind that we could continue offering our industry-leading services as usual across the globe.

Dominique Simon, Global General Counsel

By embracing regulation and actively seeking it, we're ensuring that our product is not only compliant with legal requirements, but in many cases surpasses such regulations when they may not exist. We are excited that the legal and regulatory frameworks in the cryptocurrency space are rapidly developing, as it is giving both consumers and businesses the confidence to operate in these areas, but the situation highlighted the need to have strong contingencies in place to protect our customers beyond what regulations may already be in place. In Singapore, for example, we have been working with the Monetary Authority of Singapore to apply for a Payments Services Act. We have been given permission to operate in the meantime, but getting this licence is all part of Wirex’s goal to comply with local frameworks and regulations that are continuously developing in the digital currency world, and reassuring our customers that we are working with authorities to provide an industry-leading product. In the UK and EU, Wirex is authorised as an e-money institution, meaning that when it comes to the fiat side of our business, we are closely regulated by the FCA and subject to certain requirements to keep customer funds safe, even in the event of insolvency. We also strive to apply these standards to the crypto side of our business, and learn from the best practices developed from our regulatory permissions to keep customer assets safe. We take these best practices and apply them globally, in line with our mission to offer customers a safe and compliant service. We’re registered for money transmission with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in the United States, whilst in Canada, we’re registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada as a money service business. We’re undergoing an e-money licensing application in the EEA region to ensure that we’ll continue providing services in the EU after financial passporting services end due to Brexit. Licensing applications are also underway in Japan to comply with strict requirements to provide Japanese customers with safe and compliant services. Our mission has always featured a safe and compliant cornerstone to provide customers the peace of mind knowing their funds kept in Wirex are safe.It’s what we would expect from any service provider handling our own money, so it’s a top priority for us at all times.