Wise (formerly TransferWise) is taking legal measures against its former Brazilian partner MS Bank, which has accused the UK-based fintech of illegally misusing customer data.
Until recently, Wise worked with MS Bank to enable customer payments from Brazilian reais. However, in February MS Bank terminated the relationship without warning, leaving Wise unable to facilitate payments.
The following month, MS Bank began promoting a new transfer service, while Wise has secured a license from the Central Bank of Brazil to operate without a third party - effectively making the former partners rivals.
MS Bank's allegation against Wise, prominently displayed on the bank's website and in a YouTube video, is that the UK firm "used the name and financial data of customers to illegally send money abroad".
Continues the statement: "The company defrauded international transfers without the knowledge of the bank and users of the platform, involving their names in illegalities that can lead to up to six years in prison."
MS Bank says it took the matter to the central bank, which conducted an investigation and "confirmed that Transferwise changed foreign currency quotes to send illegal money abroad with a ride with remittances platform customers".
Wise has called the allegations "false and unfounded". It is taking "appropriate legal measures" and insists it "never used your data illegally".
According to Wise, the issue is related to a discrepancy between the amount that the recipient of a transfer receives and the amount that MS Bank registers for the transfer with the central bank.
Wise says that the difference is simply the result of this registered amount not reflecting the "final currency or TransferWise fees".