By Oliver Smith on Tuesday 5 October 2021
More signs of aggression between the credit card industry and fintech Curve.
Hundreds of credit card customers have been informed that their cards are being closed after connecting them to all-your-cards-in-one fintech Curve.
The move by Creation Finance, which issues the credit cards of hotel chains IHG and Marriot, is apparently linked with the practice of ‘cash recycling’.
Essentially people had been using their credit cards, via Curve’s debit card, to pay into savings accounts and earning points in the process, then using their savings accounts to pay off credit card balances while keeping their points.
Affected customers flooded Curve’s community forum and reported that Creation’s customer service had said at least 1,800 cardholders were affected.
A Creation spokesperson wouldn’t confirm the figure, but told AltFi that: “From time to time we may close individual accounts in accordance with our rights under the credit card terms and conditions.”
In what might be a far more substantial move, Creation has now also blocked all Curve-linked transactions across all the credit cards it issues “whilst we undertake a review of the linkage”.
“As a responsible lender it’s important that we understand how the Curve platform is being used and any impact that may have on the Creation issued card and the normal consumer protection provided under the Consumer Credit Act.”
Once the review is complete Creation says it will let customers know whether it has decided to reinstate Curve transactions or not.
On Twitter Curve wrote to concerned customers that “we're on the case and looking to get a resolution to this as soon as possible”.
Curve has yet to reply to AltFi’s request for comment.
Creation’s decisions echo those of American Express, which Curve spent three years negotiating with to get the credit card giant to allow its customers to use the service—to little avail.
Curve has earned a loyal customer base from its focus on breaking traditions around debit and credit card payments, like its Go Back In Time feature that lets customers retroactively change the card that they made purchases on.
A similar move was when Curve enabled Samsung Pay support, meaning that customers at banks that didn’t support Samsung Pay could work around the block via Curve.
This behaviour hasn’t always helped Curve win fans among the industry, apparently now including execs at Creation Finance.
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