Wirecard bankruptcy affects aviation

Cards that were issued by WDCS no longer work (Photo: Jan Gruber).
Cards that were issued by WDCS no longer work (Photo: Jan Gruber).

Wirecard bankruptcy affects aviation

Cards that were issued by WDCS no longer work (Photo: Jan Gruber).
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Some popular “frequent flyer cards” can no longer be used with immediate effect. UK withdrew its license from WDCS.

The bankruptcy of the German Wirecard AG is now also having an impact on prepaid and debit cards, which are used by frequent flyers in particular due to the lack of international transaction fees. Numerous fintechs, including Revolut, Curve and Holvi, give their customers payment cards that have been formally approved by Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd. (WDCS).

The British financial market regulator FCA revoked the license of the issuer WDCS on Friday with immediate effect. Until now, the company held a so-called "Electronic Money License" and was thus a so-called "payment institute" which, in contrast to the full banking license, has no deposit protection. The FCA prohibited Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd. any cash outflow so that payment cards issued by this company are immediately invalid and can therefore no longer be used for payment.

The Fintech Curve is already informing all customers that the "Curve Card", which is particularly popular with frequent flyers, will no longer be used with immediate effect. The reason for this is that the formal issuer of the card is WDCS. Other fintech companies, including Holvi and Revolut, are customers of Wirecard Card Solutions Ltd. and therefore affected. There are various ways to determine whether a prepaid or debit card is affected by the license withdrawal. The easiest way is to contact the fintech customer service. Often, but definitely not always, there is a note in very small print on the back: "This card is issued by Wirecard Card Solutions Limited".

The product “Boon.Planet”, which has also enjoyed increasing popularity among frequent travelers in recent months, is subject to restrictions, according to customer service. Although this product is issued by the German Wirecard Bank AG, which is under the emergency administration of the BaFin supervisory authority, any outflow of capital is closely monitored by the authority. For outgoing transfers, the transaction time is now up to ten days. According to those affected, there are also restrictions on card payments. Wirecard Bank AG also acts as an issuer and issues credit cards both in its own name and as a white label provider. You also act as a partner to various fintechs, including Bankomo, for example. Affected customers should be advised to discuss the current situation with their respective customer service.

Since Visa and Mastercard, the two largest licensors of credit cards, have threatened to prohibit the use of the brands, access to the payment network, the issuing of cards and, in particular, the processing of payments, this could have consequences for airlines and have various online shops. The background to this is that Wirecard AG is one of the world's largest technical service providers in the field of e-commerce. Many companies, including numerous airlines, processed their online payments using tools from Wirecard AG. Wirecard Bank AG acts as a so-called acquiring bank and thus takes over the collection of card payments from the issuing bank (card issuer) for the respective shop if a customer uses his prepaid, debit or credit card for payment. Since the further development of the decisions of the supervisory authorities, as well as the licensors Mastercard and Vida, depends, no prognosis can be given at the current time. Affected companies and private customers can only be advised to observe the current situation and, if necessary, to examine alternatives.

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Editor of this article:

Jan Gruber is Senior Editor at Aviation.Direct. Before that, he had held the same position at AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net) since 2012. He specializes in low-cost carriers, regional aviation in the DA-CH region and in-depth research.

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About the editor

Jan Gruber is Senior Editor at Aviation.Direct. Before that, he had held the same position at AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net) since 2012. He specializes in low-cost carriers, regional aviation in the DA-CH region and in-depth research.

Nobody likes paywalls
- not even Aviation.Direct!

Information should be free for everyone, but good journalism costs a lot of money.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check Aviation.Direct voluntary for a cup of coffee Coffee trail (for them it's free to use).

In doing so, you support the journalistic work of our independent specialist portal for aviation, travel and tourism with a focus on the DA-CH region voluntarily without a paywall requirement.

If you did not like the article, we look forward to your constructive criticism and / or your suggestions for improvement, either directly to the editor or to the team at with this link or alternatively via the comments.

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