Wirex may suffer card outage in EEA due to UAB PayrNet licensing issue

Wirex and Cryptopay Debit Cards No Longer Operational in EEA

Debit cards offered by crypto payment service Wirex may no longer be operational in the European Economic Area (EEA), as indicated in an email sent to some of its customers on June 23. This potential disruption was caused by UAB PayrNet, Wirex’s card provider, having its license revoked by Lithuania’s central bank.

Following this news, Cryptopay, a rival of Wirex, has also declared that its cards could possibly cease to function in the same area as a result of the same problem.

Wirex, a multi-currency crypto payment app boasting fiat on-ramps and off-ramps as well as debit cards, claimed in 2020 to have a user base of more than 3 million people across Europe and Asia.

The email sent to customers stated that due to difficulties experienced by our current card partner, debit card services for EEA customers have been disrupted. However, this issue has no effect on customers’ ability to access their funds through other Wirex means such as our IBAN service or by transferring and buying cryptocurrency on the Wirex app. Therefore, customers do not need to take any action as a result of this information since their funds remain secure in the app.

Wirex asserted that the source of the difficulty was UAB PayrNet, not any problems within Wirex’s infrastructure.

UAB PayrNet License Revoked by Lithuania’s Central Bank

Robinhood has acquired the credit card fintech X1 for a sum of $95 million.

The Bank of Lithuania declared on June 22 that it was taking away the electronic money institution license of UAB PayrNet due to persistent, major, and multiple violations of the law. It was also alleged that PayrNet had not properly implemented Anti-Money Laundering regulations to stop its services from being used for unlawful financing.

In its statement, the Bank of Lithuania assured that customer funds are secure, as they are “kept in distinct, dedicated accounts.”

Cointelegraph attempted to reach out to UAB PayrNet via email, but there was no reply by the time of publication. Reportedly, Stephenas Couttie, the director of PayrNet, expressed that the central bank’s actions are “not enough for the offenses committed,” as per a translation of text from the Lithuanian news source Verslo Žinios. This appears to suggest that the director believes PayrNet is facing an excessive penalty, disproportionate to the violations it has made.

Wirex Expediting Plan to Use Transact Payments Malta Limited for Debit Card Services

In its correspondence with customers, Wirex declared that it is expediting its plan to use Transact Payments Malta Limited to manage its debit card services. This strategy was already underway, but is being hastened due to present issues. It is “laboring diligently” with both PayrNet and Transact to get its debit card system back in operation as soon as possible.

Customers in the EEA region may not be able to use their cards at present.

Over the past two years, Wirex has been broadening its range of services. In August 2022, it joined forces with 1inch to offer wallet-based token swaps to its customers. Then in February 2022, it linked up with the Avalanche (AVAX) network, enabling users to deposit AVAX and spend it using a debit card.

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