Thursday, January 2, 2020

Cyber Attack on Travelex Currency Exchange Service

The New Year 2020 Eve malware attack forced Travelex employees to resort to manual operations.

 Foreign exchange network Travelex has shut down its mobile app and online services after a malware attack discovered on New Year's Eve.

The London-based organization is a subsidiary of Finablr, a global network for payments and foreign exchange solutions. Travelex has a presence in 27 countries and more than 1,200 retail stores at on-airport and off-airport locations. Its branches are still operating, the Wall Street Journal reports, but workers had to rely on manual transactions on January 2. Travelex's internal email system is also down, the report says.
Cyber Attack on Travelex Currency Exchange Service

In a tweet  "we're currently having IT issues and are extremely sorry for any inconvenience. At this stage, we’re unable to perform transactions on the website or through the app. Sorry again for any inconvenience and we’re working around the clock to fix the issues."

On Thursday evening, Travelex said it had taken down its site to contain "the virus and protect data".
That has affected Sainsbury's Bank, Barclays and HSBC, among others, which all use the Travelex platform.

There is no indication when the Travelex website will be restored.

The company said it has been working on the issue since the software virus attack on New Year's Eve.

A number of banks depend on the Travelex platform to provide online travel money services.
The company delivers the foreign currency to stores for customers to collect, as well as operating the software that is used to buy the travel money.

'Planned maintenance'

  Travelex's  has meant the firms that use its services cannot sell currency online.

Virgin Money's site showed an error message, which said: "Our online, foreign currency purchasing service is temporarily unavailable due to planned maintenance. The system will be back online shortly."

Sainsbury's Bank also said its online travel money services were unavailable, although it said customers could still buy travel money in its stores. In a statement to the BBC, the bank said: "We're in close contact with Travelex so that we can resume our online service as soon as possible."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for First Direct, which is owned by HSBC, said: "Unfortunately, our online travel money service is currently unavailable due to a service issue with third party service provider, Travelex."

In a statement on Thusday, Travelex boss Tony D'Souza said: "We regret having to suspend some of our services in order to contain the virus and protect data."

The company has resorted to carrying out transactions manually, providing foreign-exchange services over the counter in its branches.
"We apologise to all our customers for any inconvenience caused as a result," Mr D'Souza said in a statement.

HSBC told the BBC that some of its branches also stock dollars and euros, which it is still able to sell.


Travelex Group is a foreign exchange company founded by Lloyd Dorfman and headquartered in London. Its main businesses are international payments, bureaux de change, and issuing prepaid credit cards for use by travellers as well as global remittances.


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