Wirex and brexit


#1

Hi,

It looks like the ghost of brexit is (again) haunting is. Based on what I read in the newspaper today, it looks like we are heading for a deal -at best- on goods and agriculture (if there will be any deal at all). This means, no deal on services, nor ffinancial services.

As the answer of the Pavel in the “ask your question to the CEO” video was not really very reassuring, I would like to ask wirex what exactly they are doing to make sure that we -customers in the EU- continue to have a service after 29/3/2019?

After all, the last thing I need is (again) to have my visa-card blocked because somebody somewhere did not do his/her work properly!!

Kr.


#2

Hi there,

Thanks for getting in touch! In regards to Brexit, no final decision has yet been made by the UK or EU in respect of how UK businesses can provide services into the rest of Europe post-Brexit. However, it is highly unlikely that there will be a “hard stop” on the provision of these services from March 2019 and in the worst case a “transition period” will apply, allowing UK businesses sufficient time to apply for licenses in Europe to ensure their businesses and their customers in Europe, are not affected.

More likely, due to the UK’s and Europe’s wider dependency on the UK’s financial services sector, an arrangement will likely be reached under the Brexit negotiations, to enable UK businesses to continue servicing their customers throughout Europe. To mitigate any adverse or unexpected outcome under the Brexit negotiations, Wirex is actively looking at licensing options elsewhere in Europe, to ensure we can continue to seamlessly service our customers in Europe, regardless of what is decided under Brexit.

If you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

All the best.


#3

Hi,

Thanks for your reply, but I must say I am not sure if the answer really reassure me completely.
If there is one thing that has become clear from the way the brexit has been handled up to now, is that it seams to be driven by political arguments and not by economics.

I’m not sure if terms as “highly unlikely” or "will likely be " … really mean to much.

What I did hope to have seen was wirex to come with a clear and public roadmap that shows that the company is completely ready with any possible senario … i.e. by march 2019.

Kr.


#4

Hi wirex,

We are now 5 months further down the road, and based on the news I read, both the EU, the EU27 countries and the UK gouvernement have called for more intense preparation for a possible “no deal” senario.

So, how is wirex doing with its preparation for this?

It is turns into a no-deal senario (i.e. even without a transition period)

  • will I -as a EU citizen- still be able to use my wirex visa card?
  • will I still be able to use the wirex customer-service ? (concidering GDPR and the transfer of personal data from the EU to a “thirth-country”)

As a customer, If there is the possibility that on the 29th of March we all will receiving an email saying “due to unforseen legal issues, we have been forced to stop the service provided to you”, I do want to know that beforehand!
(after all, I do not want to have my money stuck in a money-account that I cannot reach).

Kr.


#5

My friendly suggestion to Wirex, independent to the Brexit negotiation result, is to move to Malta.

Major crypto-friendly corporations have already moved there and others are in the process of moving.


#6

Follow-up:

News today on the euobserver: " Commission publishes no-deal Brexit contingency plan"

Interesting reading in the Q&A:

23. Will banks and insurers with headquarters in the UK be able to continue to provide services in the EU in case of no deal?
In case of no deal, entities headquartered in the UK providing banking services will no longer be allowed to provide services in the EU on the basis of their current authorisations
(…)
Financial institutions that wish to provide banking or insurance services in the European Union should take all necessary steps to be properly authorised on withdrawal date, including by establishing presence in the EU27

:frowning:

Kr.


#7

With regards to the GDPR concerns, I foresee that the European Commission will add the UK to the Adequacy Decisions list, based on the current levels of data protection within the UK.


#8

Hi,

(Sorry for the late reply)

Well, it doesn’t seams to be that simple.

The IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals) has a very long paper on the topic:

In short (and also based on some information I read somewhere else, but I do not have the source of it anymore), there is quite a big problem of timing.

A 3th country can request the EU to be concidered “equivalent” to the EEA-countries concerning privacy-protection, but the Commision has already stated this means that the UK can only … once it is a “3th country”, i.e. AFTER brexit.
This means that it is simply impossible that the UK will be concidered “GDPR equal” at brexit-day+1.

Also keep in mind that the EU is not in a hurry to provide that status to the UK. Appparently, almost all big companies that operate from the UK and process data of EU citizens have already moved their data to datacenters in the EEA. (wirex seams to have chosen not to do that).

Now, if you read the document, from the EU point of view,there are issues concerning access to data about EU citizens on datacenters in the UK to (e.g.) the police and the intelligence services in the UK. So -as the EU is now in the stronger position- it has every reason not to use that card to fast.
So it could be that this discussion can take quite some time.

Anycase, as I see it.
If it turns out that -at brexit-day +1- -say- visa has blocked your card, my guess is that it does not make sense to contact a helpdesk in the UK, as I do not see any way how visa Europe, any payment processer in the EU/EEA or their bank in Lavia will be legally able to share information about your transactions with what is then “an organisation in a 3th country”.

Kr.


#9

Fear not… https://e-resident.gov.ee/