Curve aims to “simplify your financial life” by removing the need to carry multiple physical cards. Once you’ve added your card details to the app, you only need to keep your single Curve card with you. The app can be used to control which of your real debit and credit cards the Curve MasterCard currently makes payments from.
The app features several other services above the offering of a regular bank card. Besides being able to switch cards at will, you can get notifications for transactions, spend abroad without incurring fees and benefit from end-to-end encryption on every purchase. If a fraudulent payment is detected, Curve automatically locks down the card that was used to make it.
Curve also comes with “financial time travel” capabilities that allow users to change cards after a transaction has been completed. If you make a purchase and then realise it was made with the wrong card, you can return to the app and transfer it to a different one. Curve handles the logistics of making the switch possible, avoiding unintentional fees and the need to manually transfer misplaced funds. The app even ensures you don’t miss out on loyalty points.
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Curve’s presenting its product as a new form of finance that’s simpler to deal with than regular bank cards. Although there’s no shortage of emerging fintech apps, the company’s approach is unique as it still relies on a physical card. This could help to attract consumers who aren’t ready to abandon cards altogether. Curve’s solution balances the convenience of fintech with the need to remain interoperable with current banking solutions.
Curve’s been trialling its platform with beta users for several months. Founder and CEO Shachar Bialick told TechCrunch that around 100,000 people have used the app so far. The company has another 50,000 people signed up to its waiting list. These members will begin to be approved this week now the app has entered general availability.
Curve plans to expand its platform with support for more external services. It’s working on integrations that will link the app to other financial products, including bank accounts and fintech apps. The entire ecosystem will revolve around the Curve MasterCard, which may help to convince fintech sceptics to try the platform out.
UK consumers can download Curve today to start making transactions using the platform. The service is free to use but an optional £50 version of the Curve MasterCard is available with extra benefits. The app works on Android and iOS.