Security & Fraud

Travelex Goes Offline Following Cyberattack

Retail currency dealer Travelex was offline on Thursday (Jan. 2) after being infiltrated by a software virus, the Financial Times (FT) reported.

All Travelex systems were taken offline “as a precautionary measure in order to protect data and prevent the spread of the virus,” the company told FT after learning of the attack on New Year’s Eve.

It doesn’t appear that any personal data was compromised. Cybersecurity experts are working alongside Travelex IT in order to “isolate the virus” and restore the system as quickly as possible.

“We regret having to suspend some of our services in order to contain the virus and protect data. We apologize to all our customers for any inconvenience caused as a result. We are doing all we can to restore our full services as soon as possible,” said Tony D’Souza, chief executive of Travelex.

In the meantime, Travelex branches are processing exchange services manually.

“We are in contact with the firm over the issue and expect them to treat affected customers fairly,” said the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Travelex is owned by Finablr, which is publicly traded in London and is based in the United Arab Emirates.

London markets were already closed when news of the attack hit. Shares in Finablr were up 1.6 percent for the day. Travelex has a presence in more than 70 countries and has more than 1,200 branches.

In September, Travelex launched a FinTech B2B platform called Travelex Business. The new platform features an API-led platform to offer customers cash management, cross-border payments and retail currency conversion.

Finablr launched a London initial public offering (IPO) in May under the ticker “FIN LN” after having a hard time finding investors. The IPO price was significantly below the anticipated 210-260 pence range. The top five investors, which included BlackRock, Columbia Threadneedle, Norges Bank and two UAE investors, acquired about 50 percent of the shares on offer.


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.