Latest update : 12:45 GMT Tuesday 30th June 2020



CARDS SERVICES ARE BACK!

We’re delighted to announce that ALL FairFX cards are back up and running after the FCA lifted restrictions on Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd’s operations early this morning.

The reason for the delay between the FCA’s announcement and customers being able to use their cards again was because we were waiting for Mastercard and our others partners to resume normal activities for cards affected by this situation.

Our team has been working tirelessly around the clock to get you back up and running and we are thrilled that we’ve now achieved this. These have been an exceptional few days but the support you have shown us has been so inspiring and has helped us to stay focused on doing everything that we can for you.

We are anticipating a high number of customer queries, but if you need to get in touch, please visit our contact page.

Thank you again for patience.

FAQS



What happened?

On Friday 26th June, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) temporarily suspended our card issuer – Wirecard Card Solutionss Ltd operations, and as a result all FairFX customers were unable to use their cards. In the early hours of this morning, following their investigation, the FCA announced that it would restore Wirecard’s ability to operate its payments and issuing services, allowing all customers who use Wirecard’s services to resume card operations. You can read more on the FCA’s most recent announcement here.

All FairFX cards are now back up and running. The reason for the delay between the FCA’s announcement this morning and customers being able to use their cards again, was because we were waiting for Mastercard and our others partners to resume normal activities for cards affected by this situation.

I can’t get through on the phone?

We understand that many of you will want to talk to us about what to do next with your card. In order to respond to you as quickly as possible we are asking that you visit our website to use LiveChat, send us an email or request a callback.

How do we know this won’t happen again?

FairFX has been offering financial services since 2007 and in that time, we have not experienced anything like these past few days with Wirecard.

The security of our customers’ funds remains of the utmost importance to us and, as we have continuously said, since the FCA’s initial announcement on Friday, that your funds have been safely held in safeguarded accounts by Barclays Bank Plc as per the FCA regulations. This meant that they are, and always were secure, but access to them was temporarily blocked by the FCA.

We understand that you may still be worried about using cards issued by Wirecard so, behind the scenes, we have accelerated the development of a new multi-currency card solution that is not dependent on Wirecard. This means that you only need a single card to hold balances in up to 15 currencies including euros and dollars, and will give you all the same great benefits, the same great FairFX brand and more. We’ll provide further updates on this new card on our website in the coming days.

If I’m worried about continuing to use a Wirecard issued FairFX card, what should I do?

We understand that you may still be worried about using cards issued by Wirecard so, behind the scenes, we have accelerated the development of a new multi-currency card solution that is not dependent on Wirecard. This means that you only need a single card to hold balances in up to 15 currencies including euros and dollars, and will give you all the same great benefits, the same great FairFX brand and more.

We’ll provide further updates on this new card on our website in the coming days.

Where is my money held?

Your money is held in safeguarded client fund accounts with Barclays Bank Plc as per the FCA regulations that are in place specifically to protect your funds. These funds belong to our customers and cannot be used by either Wirecard or FairFX.

The security of our customers’ funds has always been, and remains, of the utmost importance to us.

How can I trust FairFX?

FairFX has been operating since 2007 and in that time, we have issued over a million cards to help people spend safely around the world. The events of the last 4 days are a result of one of our card issuers – Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd., and are unlike anything we have seen over the last 13 years.

We pride ourselves on the excellent service we provide our customers and the safety with which they are able to use our cards to spend at home and abroad. We were recently named the UK’s most recommended payment services provider by YouGov, and are incredibly proud of our ‘Excellent’ customer rating on TrustPilot.

Does this affect your other services – cash and international payments?

No. This issue only impacted our cards as the problem stemmed from the company that currently issues our cards – Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd. Our cash and international payments services continue to be available for our customers to use as normal.

Could the FCA do this again?

The FCA authorise and supervise financial service institutions in the UK – from banks, credit card providers and e-money providers, to pension funds and insurers. They can withdraw permission to provide financial services from any institution they supervise if it is proven that they have not met required regulatory standards. In this case, they temporarily suspended Wirecard’s services while they conducted their investigations, but have now provided consent to allow Wirecard to resume issuing e-money and payment services. For more information on the action taken by the FCA and the reasons for it, please see here.

What happens if Wirecard goes into administration?

Wirecard is required under their regulation to maintain appropriate measures to safeguard customers’ money. It does this by holding it separately from its own money in accounts with banks (or another credit institution). Effective safeguarding arrangements are critical to help ensure that customers’ money is protected and returned if a firm fails. Adequate safeguarding arrangements which are compliant with the regulatory requirements are a condition of Wirecard’s ongoing FCA authorisation.

If I withdraw funds, will I be charged?

If you are looking to withdraw funds from your FairFX account, we will waive the usual £5 withdrawal fee as we appreciate what a stressful time the last few days have been for our customers.

Why is my money not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?

While our prepaid cards do not fall under the FSCS, the FCA does protect your funds – as demonstrated by the freeze this weekend. We are required to hold customer funds in safeguarded accounts and CANNOT use that money for our own purposes, as banks can.

The FSCS was established to protect customers whose money is held with institutions that can lend or invest that money such as banks, pension funds, credit-card providers and insurers. This has risk and requires some form of insurance – such as FSCS.

FairFX is required under their supervision by the FCA to maintain appropriate measures to safeguard customers’ money. It does this by holding it separate from its own money in accounts with Barclays Bank Plc. Safeguarding is a key consumer protection measure within the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 and the Payment Services Regulations 2017 which are the rules setting how e-money and payments firms should conduct their businesses. The purpose of safeguarding is to protect and return customer money if a firm was to fail.

Effective safeguarding arrangements are critical to help ensure that customers’ money is protected and returned if a firm fails. For more information, please see here.

Why didn’t you tell us sooner?

The action was taken by the FCA on Friday and unfortunately we weren’t given any notice. As soon as we were informed of the action, our team worked continuously with the FCA, Wirecard and Mastercard to get customers back up and running as soon as possible.

We’re delighted that the issue has now been resolved and can’t wait to get back to serving our customers with the outstanding service that we’ve become known for over the last 13 years.

Sincerely,
The FairFX team