According to sources at AirBnB all prepaid cards from Payoneer for around 10% of all properties listed has been suspended and withdrawal is no longer possible throughout the world.
Due to the Covid-19 crisis revenues for this year has been marginally low but analysts estimates that millions of funds are locked.
Last year revenues of AirBnB was estimated at 3.5 billion US Dollars and around 10% of all AirBnB hosts use the AirBnB Payoneer Pre-paid card including in many countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, South Asia and South America.
The FCA currently stopped Wirecard Solutions in the United Kingdom from operation to prevent them transferring assets to the parent company in Germany during the audit/ investigation.
Controversial payouts via Payoneer
Most recently in France, because of a controversial payment option that is still possible in Austria and many other EU countries, the landlords can request a so-called Payoneer prepaid debit card, which is registered in Gibraltar. A passport number with a copy of the passport is sufficient for registration and the card will be sent by postal mail.
The French authorities identified aid for tax avoidance, which resulted in Airbnb no longer being able to offer this payment method there since the end of 2017 but it is still available in many countries.
In the French media, both Airbnb and the US company Payoneer, which is based in Gibraltar, note that there are no complaints about the payment provider, whose services are used worldwide by digital multinationals such as Amazon and Google. In addition, the platform informs its users in its terms and conditions that the applicable tax regulations must be observed.
According to Airbnb, less than ten percent of users would choose this payment method via Payoneer.
Funds locked by the UK authorities could take months to recover until the investigations is completed by both the UK authorities and as well regulators in the European Union.
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