Last editedNov 20222 min read
Although it was once one of Europe’s biggest payment processors, Wirecard was involved in one of the largest fraud scandals in recent times. Now insolvent, businesses Here’s a closer look at what happened to this German tech company as well as four alternatives to Wirecard for businesses.
Not too long ago in 2017, Wirecard was listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the world’s top 100 innovative growth companies. Today, the company is insolvent, so what happened? There were signs of trouble brewing when Wirecard failed to produce its annual report in 2018 due to missing cash. In 2020, it reported that €1.9 billion was missing from its balance sheets and that it was €3.2 billion in debt. Subsequently, CEO Markus Braun was arrested along with the company’s COO and other board members and executives. Its assets were sold to Santander Bank at the end of the year.
Top alternatives to Wirecard
It’s clear that businesses now need to find alternatives to Wirecard, if they haven’t already done so. Fortunately, there are plenty of payment gateways for the European market. The following are our top four choices to consider.
GoCardless is a great alternative, whether you need to collect instant payments with Instant Bank Pay or secure scheduled payments with Direct Debit. Consistently rated highly for its customer service, GoCardless builds payments intelligence into its platform to reduce failure rates and increase security. Its extensive payment solutions reduce the cost of taking payments in comparison to costly credit cards. With payments intelligence features such as Protect+ and Success+, businesses can also enjoy protection against fraud and late payments.
PayPal is another potential Wirecard alternative. It’s well-established with buyers and sellers across Europe already, so merchants benefit from the brand recognition and reputation. It’s also user-friendly, easy to get started, and facilitates several different payment methods. Security features are comprehensive, including two-factor authentication and PCI DSS compliance. However, it’s better suited to one-off transactions as its recurring use cases tend to show higher failure rates. It’s also unsuited to customers who don’t wish to set up a PayPal account and comes with high fees.
Another established alternative to WireCard is PayMill, which has been facilitating payments for over a decade. PayMill is one of the most popular online payment providers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. It specialises in EU-centric payment methods like Diners and Maestro for one-off payments and can also handle recurring payments. There’s no annual maintenance fee but per-transaction fees are higher than some alternatives. It’s also important to note that it’s a very localised service. UK-based businesses will need to have an account in one of the EU countries that PayMill serves to use this platform.
If you’re looking for a more international provider, Stripe is a great option. It serves countries all over the world and helps facilitate cross-border transactions in multiple currencies. This all-in-one payment provider offers a range of payment products that are easy to integrate into your existing platform. Stripe is a card-first company, so although it is great if you mainly take card payments it doesn’t have as much support for alternative methods. It’s also best for businesses with access to professional developers to make the most of its customisation options.
How to choose the best Wirecard alternative
If you’ve been left in the lurch by the Wirecard insolvency, you’re still spoiled for choice. To find the best payment gateway, you should think about several factors. This includes your customer preferences, your budget, and your need for customisation. For many businesses, it’s best practice to use more than one payment provider to cover all bases. It’s easy to combine services like Stripe for card payments and GoCardless for Direct Debit into a single website. This ensures no matter your customer’s preference, there’s a payment method that suits them.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution, setting people and businesses free from the frustrations and cost of outdated payment methods. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off orrecurring payments.