Curve, a London-based startup that aims to bridge the gap between card-based and mobile payments by replacing multiple cards with a single piece of plastic and a mobile app, has launched with support from a group of notable fintech investors, including Taavet Hinrikus of TransferWise and Ricky Knox of challenger bank Tandem.
Similar to Coin in the US, Curve allows people to combine an unlimited number of bank cards into one physical payment card, supported by a mobile app that gives users a consolidated view of their payments. Bundled services include the ability to see all transactions in one place, access to low foreign currency rates with no fees, and using Amex at places it isn’t accepted.
Built on the MasterCard Network, the Curve card supports Chip and Pin, magstripe and contactless technology. Users scan their cards into the app, which syncs them with the Curve card. The Curve app can be used to switch between cards with a single swipe and displays every transaction made, with a running total across each month.
‘With Curve you have one card and see every single transaction in one screen. We’re not another new bank or extra service to deal with, we transform your existing fragmented financial world into somewhere crystal clear, designed for the user,” says Shachar Bialick, CEO and co-founder of Curve. “Mobile payments have the potential to bring similar benefits, but cards work everywhere and people are used to them. So we’ve created the best of both worlds - all the benefits of mobile payments via a ground-breaking card.”
Initially launched for iOS only, Curve is shipping a limited run of 10,000 Curve cards to small business users, with an introductory price of £35.
The soft launch comes two months after the firms secured a $2 million seed investment from from investors such as Taavet Hinrikus of TransferWise, Ricky Knox of Tandem challenger bank and VC investment from Speedinvest, Seedcamp, Kima Ventures and the Mayor of London.
"The concept of payments as we know it is on the brink of being shaken up in a meaningful way,” says Taavet Hinrikus, CEO and co-founder of Transferwise and investor in Curve. “Today, Curve makes the first step at being the company to finally make this significant change in impacting how people pay for goods and services.”