US Incorporation

FCA freezes all Payoneer prepaid MasterCards amid Wirecard money scandal

Wirecard AG, a German payment processor filed for liquidation on Thursday when it was revealed that the company is involved in some accounting frauds. It was reported that 1.9 billion euros were missing from the company account.

Payoneer is well known platform for seamless cross-border payments as Fiver, Upwork, gettyimages, freelancer, 99designs, peopleperhour, topcoder, envato and pond5 pay into it. Payoneer works in more than 200 countries and so is one of the few most frequently used global payment companies.

Among it’s other products is Payoneer prepaid mastercard which works electronically and is globally accepted. It is used to withdraw payment from ATMs and to make purchases at both physical and online stores.

As a result of this the financial conduct authority of UK commonly named FCA ordered WCSL to freeze the prepaid Mastercard activity. FCA officials said that these measures have been taken to ensure the safety of customers’ money. According to PCA, freezing all payments, services included in Payoneer, subscription to Wirecard, temporary blockage of payments are the next actions. The customers will neither be able to withdraw money nor transfer it for time being.

The stance of Payoneer was cleared by the statement of Payoneer CEO Scott Galit. He stated that:

“We understand that the developing situation with Wirecard has created a lot of concern. Progress is being made to lift the freeze, and we will continue to update you as soon as more information is available.

We have enabled alternative solutions for payment withdrawal, and are working to address any technical issues that have come up, and to help our customers in any way we can.”

How it affected Pakistani freelancers?

At this specific time there is no concrete record of Payoneer customers in Pakistan and according to an estimate the number is between 50,000 to 100,000. Most of these were freelancers who deliver projects to their offshore clients and receive money and others are some small companies. This Wirecard has no doubt created many problems for people because they can’t easily take out their hard earned money even in case of emergency right now. Blockage of payments for an indefinite period of time is creating huge distress among the customers.

It is high time for the concerned authorities to think of bringing better options to Pakistan and for the consumers to not wait for government and make their accounts through some trustworthy platforms that are providing the service.

So, what is the solution now?

Every dark cloud has a silver lining so this incident has made people think about the reliability of money transfer and money saving options they use. In our opinion this should be a wake-up call for everyone to have multiple fall back plans for payments. You can switch to some more reliable service providers like Paypal and stripe etc. for the safety of your money.

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