Curve Caught Lying?

Curve seem to have had their claim to saving up to ‘5% in bank fees’ when travelling comprehensively destroyed on their own forum:


Could their crowdsourcing attempt result in more due diligence being performed than their traditional investors have done to date?

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Curve? Lying? I’m shocked! This can’t be true! Next you tell me Boris Johnson is lying!?

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Please don’t give me any spoilers about Father Christmas :rofl:

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Seriously, though, I admire that person’s perseverance to collect all those details!

Actually, though, looking at the numbers he quotes:

Bank of Scotland (Debit) 2.99% + £1.50

Take a withdrawal of £30, the fees are £2.40, which is 8%. Their claim is still disingenuous, but might just be factually correct. Would depend on the precise wording of the claim, I guess, which I don’t remember.

Well, it’s about a purchase rather than a withdrawal but it’s a fair point. But what is an appropriate purchase amount? Curve claims ‘up to 5%’, but if it was a card transaction for £0.01, Curve would be more than 99.5% cheaper which is a bit ridiculous! Wonder if the FCA handbook has guidance.

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Aqua Rewards should also be listed as “the best”. 0.5% cashback (like Tandem)

But yeah besides that, indeed I would say Curve is the most expensive. It would be cheaper to use my AmEx abroad over Curve, hence why my Curve stays in the box and it’s being cancelled shortly after I’ve made official complaints about everything I’ve noticed.

SC95 is also incorrect in saying most banks charge a flat fee per card transaction too :thinking: some do, most certainly only charge a percentage

To further that, even if Curve is technically a good option for really low-value payments - it’s very disingenuous and disgusting as a financial services provider (and definitely against the spirit of the claim they make, and I imagine ASA’s guidance should they have had any oversight over Financial Services) to claim something that is true to the letter of the law but false in general use

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Curve isn’t the most expensive.

If I withdraw £20 abroad from a Halifax debit card, the fees will be way over 5%.

So Curve is correct. Maybe the wording is a bit slyish, but they are correct.

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Remember this is about purchases, rather than withdrawals - but yes, the fees for Halifax Debit can be really high, they seem to be the second most expensive card going.

For a £20 purchase they charge 11%, for £5 they charge 33%!

But you can’t base your advertising on rare cases, or often even the average case - check out this story on EU settlement advertising where the Government had an advert banned because their claim only applied to 73% of people.

Looking at that list, it seems as though 90% of cards don’t have a fixed charge, so if Curve is really relying on this 10% of cards and then a cutting out another 90% of transactions because the fixed portion is too small, then well…

But maybe you’ve finally worked out what they’ve done? Congratulations!

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Of course you can - if you phrase it correctly.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think curve said “you can save up to 5% in fees.” this explicitly acknowledges that its an edge case. A worst case. And that many customers will save less. As such - and I can’t believe I’m saying this - I lean towards saying Curve is right.

The home office’s problem was that they said "you just need your passport/id and a phone. Period. " and that’s just not true. Had they said “most people only need these”, or “usually that’s all you need”, they’d most likely have been alright.

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I’m fairly sure the home office wouldn’t have said that. That’s an American thing. Over here it would be full stop,

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Given the wealth of options out there, any fee should be considered too much

To be fair that was true in 73% of cases, but anyone who was a criminal needed to provide their convictions

Strangely, Curve indeed seem to be doing the right thing for once - quite the turnaround!

Curve have responded on their forum, saying they “will update our webpage” :+1:t3:

This may be driven by new FCA rules which kicked in at the start of August. Basically confirms that their comms need to be clear, fair and not misleading - and that FX rates / savings have to be able to realised in a “typical” transaction, so Curve couldn’t just use a small transaction with a high fixed cost.

They are also no longer able to put these sort of claims out on Twitter and social media with a ‘subject to terms / fair use policy’ in small print - their weekend fees and over £500 fees need to be shown in the tweet itself.

Let’s see if they make their site compliant before Tuesday’s crowdfunding.

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It astounds me that it took them a month and a half to even acknowledge that the question had been asked. Their strategy seems to be to just ignore awkward questions and hope they go away.

Still, hopefully it’ll result in less misleading advertising from them.

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I also filed 2 complaints with them about the nature of their advertisement during cancelling my Metal card

After Curve removed the ‘Save 5%’ quote from the website, someone has now intervened with the Curve App as well.

Transactions no longer say you’ve saved a sum equivalent to 3% (even when you’ve paid massive fees) and they’ve itemised the fees you’re paying on foreign transactions. You can scroll down years now and see what you really paid on previous transactions.

Well done Curve! (shame it took so long for them to become compliant, but never mind). Maybe next they’ll comply with the rule to show their Euro FX rate mark-up live. Will check back in 2021 :slight_smile:

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