Curve, the new banking app developed by the U.K.-based company, has announced the launch of a patent-pending financial time travel capability. Curve customers can use an all-cards-in-one Curve MasterCard and a simple, secure mobile app to manage their money from one place. In addition, in a world-first, Curve’s users can tap the ‘Go Back in Time’ option to switch the card used for a transaction up to two weeks after the purchase was made, according to the company’s press release.
For example, if a work lunch was accidentally charged to the personal current account’s debit card instead of expense account’s credit card, a customer can simply “go back in time” and Curve will reverse or refund the charge and take it from the correct card instead. The fact that a customer needs to carry only one physical card for any offline or online payments adds some significancy to the Curve’s development.
“The problem that we are trying to solve is that users sometimes use their wrong card or a different card because they don’t’ have the right card with them or don’t have enough money in their main account. It’s about trying to resolve friction,” Shachar Bialick, CEO of Curve, told CNBC in an interview before the official announcement.
The functionality would also enable users to take better advantage of card rewards: while users would be able to switch cards, the change would happen within Curve’s platform, so merchants would only see the original transaction and would not be charged card processing fees twice.
In addition, the ability to “go back in time” and retroactively change the source of payment could in the future present an opportunity to recommend a different credit provider. For example, should Curve spot that a high-priced item have been purchased and stuck on one’s credit card, it could offer an alternative “pre-approved” loan with lower interest in partnership with a bank or other credit source and switch the charge accordingly.
“Most users find it’s hard to get a loan, sometimes they want a loan for just a computer. This allows a partner to go in and credit a user for shopping they have already done. The risk is lower because they have already bought it. It’s not a payday loan, with the risk very high,” Bialick explained.
Meanwhile, Curve, as was recently announced, has surpassed 50,000 sign-ups and processed £50 million in payments. In addition, Curve has already raised $5million in seed funding from a number of notable investors, including Seedcamp, Taavet Hinrikus, who co-founded money transfer startup TransferWise, and Ricky Knox of challenger bank Tandem.
Curve has also been named one of Europe’s 50 hottest fintech startups, and joined Tech City UK’s Upscale 2017 – a hand-picked network of the UK’s most promising technology companies. It’s worth noting that UK, a cradleland of a number of successul fintech startups, obviously dominates the rundown of FinTech50 list of European most prosperous fintech companies. The full version of Curve app is to be launched this year.