Nathalie Oestmann, COO at Curve, spoke with Efma’s Boris Plantier about how her company is connecting a fragmented world of finance into a seamless one card and one app experience.
What led to the creation of Curve?
The world of finance has fragmented. Emerging tech start-ups are innovating, disrupting and augmenting finance. This new fragmented financial landscape means customers end up micro-managing a disconnected portfolio of cards, banks, and financial products. This is why we are building Curve. We like to think of it as mission control for your money. An Over-the-Top-Banking-Platform that is moving banking to the cloud and connecting everything to one smart card and an even smarter app.
What is Curve?
Curve, the Over-The-Top-Banking-Platform, is the smart and simple way for people to consolidate their cards into one smart card and app. After signing up with Curve, you add virtual versions of your bank cards to the app and pay, either with your phone, or with the physical Curve Card that Curve sends you.
By enabling people to connect their cards to just one, Curve simplifies and unifies the money management experience with its unique ability to transfer transactions after a purchase was made with its Go-Back-In-Time functionality, and reward people with 1% cashback on purchases made at selected retailers.
How does Curve work?
Curve works like a debit card; its technology means that you can connect your debit and credit cards into one. You can also connect your cards to Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
When you make a payment with your Curve card, the merchant – that’s the business that you’ve made a purchase from – sends a message via the Mastercard network to Curve’s processing partner. The processor does some checks on the message, then passes it on to Curve. Curve loads the funds from your selected funding card, and then authorizes the Curve transaction made at the merchant, completing the transaction.
All this happens within milli-seconds. And that’s the innovative part of Curve. Once the transaction is finalized (this can be minutes or hours later), the funds are moved from your bank to Curve, and from Curve to the merchant.
Could you present Curve's solutions?
Curve connects your debit and credit cards in the Curve app; and you use the app to switch which underlying debit or credit cards you wish your Curve card to spend from.
In addition to connecting multiple credit and debit cards into the app, Curve also enables customers to access their bank cards through Google, Samsung, and Apple Pay. So customers only have to carry one card, or phone.
Customers can also see and track all their spending in one consolidated view, making everyday life just that little bit easier.
And there are a whole range of extra benefits too from cashback to market leading foreign exchange rates and better protection.
Other features include:
· “Go Back in Time”: which lets customers switch payment sources retroactively - making money management a lot easier for customers
· Curve Cash: Curve’s reward scheme gives 1% instant cash back on purchases from 3 or 6 chosen retailers (out of over 100) and that’s on top of any existing rewards customers receive from their underlying cards in the app, enabling additional rewards on some cards.
· Market leading foreign exchange rates when spending abroad or in a foreign currency.
· Curve protects customers’ money with one tap. This means customers can lock (and unlock) their card in seconds and also receive real- time transaction alerts that make it easy to notice fraudulent activities on their card.
· Curve Customer Protection covers all credit and debit card payments made via the Curve card up to £100,000, giving cardholders an extra layer of protection in the case of disputes with merchants and any unauthorized use of their Curve card. Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act doesn’t cover purchases made by Curve (for the underlying credit card) so Curve launched Curve Customer Protection to make sure customers are always protected.
· In addition, with Curve Black & Metal, customers get free worldwide travel insurance and free mobile insurance. And Metal also comes with rental car excess waiver and Lounge Key access.
What's coming next for Curve?
Curve has a host of extremely exciting products and features on its roadmap that will delight its existing customers in the UK and throughout Europe. Earlier this year, Curve became the first UK fintech to open up in Brooklyn, and so is gearing up to launch its US product towards the end of this year.