Is Curve in trouble or it's just bad press?

This journalist is pestering Curve about their user numbers:

https://outline.com/VaVFdg

It seems there’s more than the normal startup exaggerations going on - they say 750,000 users (PR this week) and he says 72,000 (roughly)

It’s all fun and games until you’re putting capital at risk on the basis of performance data

P2P lending is getting slammed by the FCA right now - this kind of stuff might end up attracting their attention, too

Anyone have any clue what’s going on behind the scenes at Curve?

What the same Curve that changes what they offer every week or so, that doesn’t understand what its customer base wants because its only wanting to make money. The same Curve that offers a product that can’t ever work in its current format on a mass market due to reliance of so many third parties. The same Curve that breaks and interprets card scheme rules in a way they was never meant to be interpreted. The same curve that was adamant you can’t change who you earn cashback with ever, that only today sent emails saying you can for Christmas.

Yes its got problems, but its got appeal, and while its got appeal it won’t struggle. The fact investors like it, shows its still got enough appeal for now.

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What is it?

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New article by the same journalist:

His mind is going to be blown when he discovers this forum, with its previous exposés of Curve’s repeated dodginess!

But he’s had a big impact - Curve have thrown loads of cash at trying to get their active user numbers up as soon as the article hit, with inactive users being given cash to use their card, and cashback given to active users.

Yes, I also noticed this. And of course we can’t know for sure, but I also think it was because of the article of this journalist that Curve now tries to raise the active user number by doing this.

I’ve never seen anything like it - Curve have thrown the kitchen sink at users straight after these articles hit:

  • Competitions to win back spend (T&Cs exclude naughty financial transactions that the CEO claimed aren’t an issue!)
  • Free fivers handed out to every inactive user
  • 3 months of Curve-funded cashback to everyone, and
  • A reset of cashback retailers

Every single one focussed on getting active user & spend rates up. And of course they tried to hide their presentation to potential investors that had one of FintechTalk members show more knowledge of the product than the Curve Team!

What is the appeal?

I used to be one of the few, on here at least, that seemed to fine a place for Curve in my life. However that’s gone now. I even thought about investing and getting Metal at some point.

The final nail in the coffin for me is I can’t get my new Yorkshire Bank Credit Card verified. I don’t believe it’s YB’s end (I have asked), my old card worked perfectly fine and think it’s purely in Curve’s ballpark. I raised a ticket 12 days ago and have absolutely nothing other than the “your ticket is important” bollocks. That on top of Tesco’s every attempt to not allow/charge for Curve, the constant changing of the offering, blah blah blah just make me wonder what the point is anymore.

GBIT is probably the only useful feature left and I don’t see that having any future the way things are going.

Such a shame because the idea, in principal, worked for me.

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This may make them more interesting. https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/20/curve-send/

If you’re an analyst trying to work out how many customers Curve have, and how many of those use the card ‘as designed’ cough cough, you might want to see how many reports you can find of people complaining that their Curve Send balances have been frozen with no ETA on its return.

This money isn’t protected, so if I’d had a balance I would be a little bit concerned - but I haven’t seen anyone complain? There must be at least 1 person out there complaining… let me know if you spot any.