A cloud partnership with SAP, payment processing for Aldi and Ikea, payment solutions for the alliance and a platinum partnership with FC Bayern Munich. And in general the cooperation with the credit card providers Visa and Mastercard. Many of the customers and partners called up by Wirecard play in the first corporate league – and their luster should probably rub off on the company that grew up with payments for pornography and gambling on the Internet.
However, if you leave the area of customers in the narrower payment processing segment such as Mastercard or Aldi, according to Personal-Financial.com’s research, many of the partnerships announced by the company prove to be declarations of intent or even dreams. The air booking company apparently also operated air communication.
A call to Berlin. Auto1 is located here alongside many other rapidly growing digital companies. Around a year ago, Wirecard announced the collaboration with the electronic used car platform, and there was talk of a strategic partnership. “The AUTO1 Group can fall back on our wide range of digital financial services”, is quoted in the press release Georg von Waldenfels (EVP Group Business Development at Wirecard). How is it going now after the bankruptcy application, the question to Auto1. “There was no cooperation,” says a spokeswoman. “That didn’t go beyond finding ideas.”
Next call to a large listed company in Germany. The spokesman would rather not read the name of his company, but complains: Wirecard has published a press release – peppered with popular catchphrases – about an alleged partnership without ever having discussed it with his department. This is extremely unusual in corporate communications. Typically, such messages are written together, each of the two sides provides a citation provider and names a contact person. However, there are numerous press releases on cooperations and partnerships on the Wirecard website that only mention one citation provider and one contact person, namely that of Wirecard.
The same thing happened on November 19, 2018, when Wirecard announced in a press release a collaboration with the consumer goods brand Fossil “to support Chinese mobile payment methods” in Europe. Fossil does not have a say in the communication and there is no contact person. Instead, Christian Reindl (Executive Vice President Sales Consumer Goods at Wirecard) is quoted as saying: “We are very pleased to enable such a global and well-known company like the Fossil Group to use our ecosystem.”
The Wirecard press office did not initially respond to a capital request regarding the nature of all of these communications.
Bayern basketball players are surprised
FC Bayern Munich, on the other hand, has previously committed to working with Wirecard. However, it was not the icons of the football department like Thomas Müller or Manuel Neuer that Wirecard tried to use to decorate themselves. The partnership exists with the club’s basketball players. On June 5, more than a month after the publication of KPMG’s test report, which was ultimately devastating for Wirecard, the basketball department said: “FC Bayern Munich Basketball and Wirecard, the world’s leading innovation driver for digital financial technology, are on time for the start of the BBL Final tournament for the German championship announced the cooperation that had been decided some time ago. “Marco Raab (EVP Global Marketing at Wirecard) is quoted in the press release by the basketball department:” We wish the club every success in realizing its sporting goals and the fans lots of great games on the screen. We are also convinced that we will be able to advance numerous digital initiatives with high added value for fans and the club in the future and that we can serve the sports sector more strongly in the future.
The sporting success – unlike the football players – did not come this year. In the quarter-finals of the final round of the basketball Bundesliga was over against Ludwigsburg. On June 19, exactly one day after Wirecard had admitted its major balance sheet problems for the first time. A spokesman for the Bayern basketball team, when asked by Personal-Financial.com, now emphasizes how much they have been caught off guard by the development. “The partnership already existed before 2020. We are currently in contact with our contact persons in the company and are watching the current, without question surprising development.”
From Munich to Dortmund. There the insurer Signal Iduna has one of its two main administrations (besides Hamburg). According to a spokesman, the company has wanted to use Wirecard’s billing system for travel insurance since March. Because of Corona it did not happen. “Because of the current development – bankruptcy application – we have initially deactivated the payment option and are now waiting for further development,” said the spokesman.
In contrast to numerous communicative air bookings, it appears – as of Friday afternoon – where Wirecard processes payments for customers through its banking subsidiary. The focus is on the credit card provider Mastercard, which apparently wants to prevent a system failure under all circumstances. “We are watching this very closely,” said a spokeswoman. “We want to make sure that the cards work and we are working hard on them.” So one could interpret that without a Wirecard it could be difficult to shop online with a Mastercard.
Competitor Visa is similar. “We continue to monitor developments closely and evaluate new information as it becomes available,” said a spokeswoman. “Our priority is and remains to maintain the integrity of the Visa payment system and protect the interests of consumers, merchants and our customers.”
Aldi Süd: No change for customers
Aldi-Süd is also involved in the processing of credit card payments and gift cards, a collaboration celebrated by the stock exchange when it was announced a year ago. On request, how to proceed, an Aldi Süd spokeswoman said. “Aldi Süd is a contractual partner of Wirecard Bank AG, which is not part of the intended insolvency proceedings.” And further: “So far, there have been no changes for our customers in either area.” Gift card balances “are secure and covered.”
Aldi Nord said that he did not want to comment on service providers, but said: “All payment options we accept are still valid.”
Furniture dealer Ikea is one of the big names with which Wirecard came into contact. However, the partner is not the group, but Ikea Southeast Asia, which, according to its own information, operates four stores in Malaysia and sells Billy & Co. online in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. “The payment solutions work as usual and the technical support from Wirecard in Southeast Asia was available without interruption,” writes a spokeswoman for the franchise company Ikea Southeast Asia.
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