Security & Fraud

Travelex Attack Forces Shutdown Of Samsung Pay’s Cross-Border Transfers

Travelex Attack Forces Shutdown Of Samsung Pay’s Cross-Border Transfers

A New Year’s Eve ransomware attack on Travelex continued to affect global businesses and customers today, including multiple Samsung Pay users, according to reports.

A company representative confirmed that Samsung Pay’s international transactions have halted as technicians continue their efforts to resolve the issue. Any users attempting to make a financial transfer via Samsung Pay will be unable to complete the process.

The online attack impacted a number of Britain’s biggest financial institutions (FIs), many of which use Travelex in financial operations. Some U.K. individual customers utilize the Travelex service directly as well.

Samsung Pay’s international money transfer is currently exclusive to U.S. customers.

As of today, the Travelex website still redirects to an advisory page, informing customers that the site is down as a “precautionary measure.” This follows the attack in which hackers asked for $6 million in exchange for the return of private consumer information. Travelex maintains that there is no evidence that the customer data – including personal information such as credit cards and birthdates – has been compromised.

Travelex, which is owned by financial services group Finablr, exists in over 70 markets. Company employees are now using pen and paper to process and record transactions at its 1,200 worldwide terminals, several of which are in airports.

Samsung earlier today (Jan. 9) issued the following statement:

“We are aware of a recent incident impacting the internal systems of our partner, Travelex. Samsung Pay has not detected any abnormal activity on our own systems, and we have been informed by Travelex that there is no indication that Samsung Pay user transactions or customer data have been affected by the incident. As a precautionary measure, Samsung and Travelex decided to disable the international payment service at this time.”



Social distancing has changed eCommerce from a ‘want to have’ to a ‘must have’ for businesses, yet retailers could struggle to create convenient payment and refund experiences for their apps and websites, says Abdul Raof Latiff, head of DBS Bank’s digital institutional banking group. In the April 2020 B2B API Tracker, Latiff explains how banks can provide a timely assist via application programming interfaces (APIs) that integrate payments into those eCommerce platforms.