Banking

Orange Bank May Replace German Payments Provider Wirecard

Wirecard

As the fallout from Wirecard’s missing cash scandal unfolds, an Orange executive said the Paris-based lender and telecommunications company’s banking unit may end its partnership with the German payments firm as soon as this summer, Reuters reported.

“We started a review several months ago ... and Wirecard is part [of] that review,” Paul de Leusse, deputy CEO for mobile finance services at Orange, said on a Thursday (June 25) call, according to the news outlet. “One can indeed expect some announcements on electronic banking and Orange Bank in August.”

The telecom group’s banking division has a partnership with Wirecard to process mobile payments with Google Pay and Apple Pay, the news service reported.

If Orange Bank decides to switch, there are lots of choices in the crowded space. Among the competitors are Ingenico, PayPal, Comdata Payment Innovation, ACI Worldwide, Adyen VeriFone, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Square Payments, Stripe and Square Payments.

On Wednesday, PYMNTS reported Grab Holdings Inc., the multinational ride-hailing company based in Singapore, has halted a collaboration with Wirecard.

“We have not begun business integration work on the Wirecard partnership and we are pausing the partnership till further notice,” a Grab spokesperson said.

The comments by de Leusse came on the same day Wirecard said it filed for insolvency.

In a statement, Wirecard said its new management decided to apply for insolvency at a Munich court “due to impending insolvency and over-indebtedness,” and was considering whether to file for insolvency for its subsidiaries.

That decision capped nearly a week of turmoil at the suburban Munich company. It began when an independent auditing team revealed $2.1 billion of deposits were missing from the Bank of the Philippine Islands and BDO Unibank Inc. The banks later said the deposits were never made.

Founder and CEO Markus Braun resigned last week following news of the audit. He was arrested Monday night (June 22) on charges of misrepresenting Wirecard’s accounts and market manipulation. He posted bail of 5 million euros ($5.6 million) and was released Tuesday (June 23).

Braun, 50, has insisted he is innocent and charges against him are false.

Wirecard’s stock shares fell to $3.53 at the close on Thursday, down from a high of $157.65 last fall.

Wirecard becomes the first member of the country’s Frankfurt Stock Exchange to go out of business, ChannelNew Asia.com (CNA) reported.

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