Following the launch of our new Dynamic Merchant Category Code (MCC) Engine to improve your Curve experience, we sat down with Shachar Bialick, our founder and CEO, who addressed some concerns our customers have shared with us.
Curve Blog: Thanks for your time, Shachar. We have received a lot of feedback following the recent blog post and communications we sent out about the introduction of a dynamic MCC engine. What is your message to these customers?
Shachar: Indeed we have. We are lucky to have passionate customers with us and appreciate them sharing their concerns and suggestions on how we can improve the Curve experience so we can learn and improve.
We’re introducing many new changes to the product and our team has been working around the clock to serve our customers better. Unfortunately, we can’t share all the news just yet but we will be sharing more information in the coming days and weeks and we are sure that it will be worth the wait.
I’d like to give some more context on the latest MCC change.
Curve was never meant to “hack” the system. Curve was built to streamline and unify the financial system and introduce a singular interface to everything money. We want you to be smart with your finances and have better access and control. Because when you are in control of your finances, you are in control of you.
When we launched Curve, thanks to its unique technology, we expected that some customers would use Curve to recycle cash from a credit card, or worse – get deeper into debt by using credit lines provided by their credit cards to withdraw cash. We knew that eventually we would build a dynamic MCC processing engine, but it would take us time. So we introduced via our Fair Use Policy a relatively high fee to withdraw cash from a credit card using Curve to disincentivize customers from exploiting this “loophole”, yet allowed a small “emergency” amount (£200) every month. We never actively advertised this “feature” as we believed there’s a good reason why banks add punitive surcharges on cash withdrawals from a Credit Card, and that eventually we will close this “loophole”.
With the introduction of our new Dynamic MCC engine, the opportunity for withdrawing cash from a credit card at an ATM without a surcharge by your issuer has now become smaller (as some credit card issuers may still decide not to charge you; we advise to refer to your issuer TOS). With this change, Curve is further integrated into the financial ecosystem, allowing us to do more of our magic. I understand that it might not be apparent at this point but rest assured that we care deeply about our customers’ experience with Curve, and the team is working hard to introduce experiences that will make them better off, some thanks to this change.
Indeed this change may mean we will be losing some of our customers. Approximately 1% of our customer base have used Curve for cash recycling purposes – and although we’ll be sad to see them go, the product we’re building was not for them in the first place.
With the introduction of our Dynamic MCC engine our customers gain more reliability, so they can truly leave all their cards behind. Our customers are now able to get more rewards and value added services from their issuers, as the issuers can now see more data on their customers’ spend. These two points are key for the success of Curve as we grow our customer base and introduce new benefits across various geographies.
With the ability to combine your cards, saving you money on currency conversion fees, seeing all your spend in one place automatically categorized, and the ability to Go Back In Time (GBIT) and connect your money, we truly believe Curve is one of a kind. And that’s only the beginning. I hope this helps provide more context to our decision and we look forward to continue and provide our customers with a truly remarkable money experience.