Wirecard sells off Asia-Pacific entities in wake of accounting scandal

The beleaguered German payments company collapsed into insolvency in June 2020.
The beleaguered German payments company collapsed into insolvency in June 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Finch Capital-backed payments firm Nomu Pay has agreed to acquire Wirecard's Asia-Pacific entities in Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand for an undisclosed sum.

In a press statement on Friday (April 16), Finch Capital said it expected to complete the transactions in May for Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong - as well as "later in the year" for the Philippines.

A separate article by the Financial Times on Friday reported that Nomu Pay was also set to buy Wirecard's regional data warehouse in Singapore. According to the article, an "Indonesian group's technology holding company" has bought the Wirecard unit in the country, which includes 360 staff in Indonesia and Malaysia.

News of Wirecard selling its business operations in Asia comes after the beleaguered German payments company collapsed into insolvency in June 2020, after it was forced to admit that some €1.90 billion (S$3 billion) in its accounts did not exist.

Since then its entities in Singapore have been ordered by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to cease their payment services and return all customers' funds by Oct 14, 2020, in turn affecting thousands of merchants that were users of its payment terminals in the city state.

Nomu Pay in March 2021 announced plans to acquire Wirecard Turkey.

In its press statement, Finch Capital said the acquisition of Wirecard's Asia-Pacific entities is part of Nomu Pay's larger plan to build out a leading unified payment company in high-growth customer segments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia.

The venture capital firm added that these acquisitions will enable Nomu Pay to be active in five countries, with access to "markets of 300 million people and a GDP (gross domestic product) equal to that of India".

"The Covid-19 outbreak has drastically accelerated South-east Asia's shift to a cashless world, with unprecedented growth in the number of e-payment transactions," said Finch Capital managing partner Hans de Back.

"With this acquisition we hope to play a substantial role in the next frontier of the region's payments infrastructure."