Singapore merchants were caught off guard when Wirecard services stopped functioning this month. Many have been accepting payments via bank transfer, cash or digital platforms.
The MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) order for Wirecard entities in Singapore to cease their payment services has left businesses scrambling to process payments.
According to the Financial Times, cafés, restaurants, hotels and mobile network providers have been left with no payment processing systems two weeks after the MAS order, which included a warning: “Customers who have not yet made alternative arrangements are encouraged to do so promptly.”
Prior to the order, MAS had already been engaging Wirecard entities in Singapore and requiring them to assist customers to switch to alternative service providers. Meanwhile, some banks had advised clients to consider switching payment processors since June, when Wirecard filed for insolvency.
The FT says many businesses that were caught off guard when Wirecard payment terminals stopped functioning on 1 October, a day after the MAS order. Many have since been asking customers to make payments via bank transfers, cash or external digital platforms.
Wirecard services were used by thousands of merchants in Singapore, having become popular due to its competitive pricing, i.e. 2 to 3 cents per card transaction compared to up to 20 to 30 cents charged by other providers.
In 2017, Wirecard also acquired 20,000 merchant clients across 11 APAC countries from Citibank.