Mondo banking + Curve card? Awesome?

(Caleb Wong) #1

Hi mondo team. How do you compare yourself with Curve Card. I found them having some quite interesting features, while they are not a bank. Especially on the Amex linking feature.

Would mondo work towards these kinds of “one card for multicard” approach, or mondo will be absolutely replacing my current banking and cards? One main concern is currently credit cards companies and some debit cards do give some sort of rewards. Will mondo work towards a more rewarding approach to customers, or do you suggest credit card bonus is still more attractive in a way but for banking you will be absolutely refreshing compare to current banking.

Sync/Link with Amex
(james_e_bell) #2

That is a strange proposition - infact I’m not sure how they actually could offer this without losing money.

From what I understand from their site (and they are using the curve card as a proxy card for your other cards - the only route I could see for them offering you to get points on transactions through curve would be:

  1. Use Curve card to pay in a shop
  2. At auth time, they dont authorise the purchase until they authorise off your main card with Curve acting as the merchant to your main card (e.g. AMEX)

I can see (but am willing for someone else to point out how ive got this wrong!) three issues with this model:

  1. Curve will be paying the transaction fee on the transaction from them to your main card e.g. they pay the AMEX transaction fee. You get points because they will be paying this fee. Unless they are passing this fee onto you, how does this model work? Where is the money coming from to cover this?
  2. The consumer has to switch whichever card they want their curve to be via the app (is that really more convenient than just using another card?)
  3. If they are going to do a double auth then the transaction time are going to be significantly longer. To avoid a double auth they would either have to take the risk themselves or pre-auth the main card (which would result in some strange balance behaviour on the main card)

(Caleb Wong) #3

I’m thinking about the Amex transaction fee too. Especially they can let users to cash from ATM and count it as e-commerce transaction, where has those transactions fee gone? Since users don’t pay for those fees. Quite interesting but if it is that great, I’m sure linking Amex to get more reward is a must. If any mondo experts here know why hope they can provide more info.

(Terry) #4

I actually like the idea of this card, Maybe mondo could implement this in some way.

I use my Mondo card for a new TV costing £300, it appears in my Mondo feed and comes off my Mondo balance. I can go into my Mondo app, select the transaction and click on Pay With: Amex. Mondo will immediately free up the funds putting the £300 back into my Mondo account and then charge my Amex that I have already linked to my Mondo account. Mondo will still keep track of this purchase showing it in my feed.

Maybe once mondo in the future even allow me to setup rules.

I use my Mondo card every day at Tesco, this comes off my Mondo balance. I have a rule setup that if I spend more than £100 in Tesco, to put it on my Amex credit card. I go into Tesco one day as they have a special on a new HiFi system. I use my Mondo card for the purchase, it knows the transaction is over £100 and is in the Tesco store, so instead of using my Mondo balance, it immediately charges my Amex.

I really love the idea that I can use 1 card and still have access to all my cards.

Edit: Also if anyone is wondering, I’ve just ordered one of these cards and it recognised my Mondo card including the card colour!

(james_e_bell) #5

Having thought further about this I think the only way is that Curve themselves are paying the fee (with initial investment on their part hoping to build out a platform). The initial charge for the card is £35 so that gives them a bit of coverage but it won’t last long. Converting cardholder present transactions into cardholder not present ecom ones is increasing the fee a fair bit!

I’m guessing this model could be used to withdraw money from 0% cards for re-investment - if they are converting ATM/cash transactions into ecom ones then you can get the cash off the card without paying cash advance fees.

(tom) #6

Yes, I can’t quite figure it out either. Maybe some very good negotiation with Amex and MasterCard.

I’ve heard rumours that Amex interchange is going to be capped very soon, which will effectively kill many of the airmiles / cashback schemes.


As it’s a limited run initially, my guess would be they are ‘community building’ and ‘platform building’ a bit. Have read in a few places that their ultimate strategy/goal is to become the access layer for a banking ecosystem that will include FX providers like TransferWise, traditional banking, investments like Nutmeg etc. etc. (sounds familiar right?)

Rather than trying to own a part of the ecosystem, they seem to just want to be the layer that pulls it all together. So it seems they are not expecting to turn a profit initially with the intention to generate revenue further down the line when they can get referral fees etc. from these ecosystem partners. As others have said, the £35/£75 initial fee will cover some of the costs of the limited run.

(Saveen) #8

So the situation re. transaction fees…

  • Amex charges merchants a higher (%) fee than Visa / MasterCard. This is why many merchants don’t accept Amex.

  • Amex is able to use the higher fees to give more back to consumers in rewards than Visa / MasterCard.

  • Curve is a business MasterCard (although there’s nothing to stop any consumer from acquiring one) and therefore is not impacted by the new EU cap of 0.3% on interchange fees for consumer credit cards.

From their T&Cs:
"‘Commercial Card’ as defined by the EU Multilateral Interchange Fee Regulation therefore its use by you must be limited to business expenses as set out above.”

  • Curve will receive a MasterCard interchange fee (as MC card issuer) of 1.3% – 1.9% whilst concurrently repaying 0.3% as it recharges to a personal card.

(tom) #9

Very interesting! Makes more sense now

(james_e_bell) #10

Thats a great spot Saveen - unclear how long that proposition will last before MasterCard act on that. Also, though its good for the consumer it does strike me as a bit unfair in making the merchant pay these costs (though I guess you could argue that the merchants could just stop accepting MasterCard business if they didn’t want the higher fees). Either way, that isnt a startup disrupting unjustifiably large fees in banking for example - its a startup shifting higher fees onto merchants.

Ultimately, operating in payments you are part of an ecosystem - purely focusing on one party at the expense of another doesnt seem like a good way to play.

(James Billingham) #11

James - to be honest, that is only good for MasterCard. All it means is that they make more money.

Eventually I’d expect the EU laws to be standardized across all issuers, types and categories of cards though. That is what will kill this and all payment card rewards programs.

(Caleb Wong) #12

Hopefully it will not come this soon. But I agree, I guess they have a good negotiation, since I did try and ask how did they do it, but they replied couldn’t give me more info. But ensured me there is no fee for us to use it.

(Caleb Wong) #13

Seems Curve started to dispatch their blue card, anyone got it yet? If yes, how is it as a complementary card to Mondo?

I’m still waiting for my black card with TUMI card holder. Will report back when I get it. Got it with promo code on Facebook and they will give back £10 when receiving the card :slight_smile:

(jamestoyer) #14

I’ve had a Beta Curve card for a while and have my Mondo card hooked up to it. I tried it a couple of time charging my Mondo card but, quite frankly, it sucks.

Contactless payments aren’t instant, so they appear the next day. This means I lose a benefit of the Mondo card, especially when I use contactless as my primary payment method (I nearly never carry cash). An added problem with this comes about when the payment comes through and is charged. It will charge whichever card you have selected at that point in time, not when the transaction took place. That means it could charge a completely different card to the one you expected.

I complained (many times) about this, and their response was rather disappointing. I was basically told to just use chip and pin everywhere

(Caleb Wong) #15

Getting my black card on 28th :stuck_out_tongue: so excited now!
Let me report back how well Mondo + Curve will boost my banking and spending style!

(Gabriele) #16

I was interested in the Curve card at some point, but then I lost interest. How do you see the transaction from your mondo card? Does it show all the seller information, or is it simply shown as a transfer from Mondo to Curve?

(jamestoyer) #17

It depends on if you use Contactless or Chip and Pin. Both time the retailer was correct but the location or the retailer varied massively. I suspect this is to do with what information is on the transaction.


That charging set up is ridiculous. What’s the point of even selecting a card to charge at the time of transaction if they’re just going to charge whatever card is active when they transaction goes through? Totally negates their USP. Glad I didn’t sign up.

(Alex Smith) #19

With the current cash card setup for Mondo, a feature that I think would cover some of the what people are requesting is basically an auto top amount which is taken from the transaction. At the moment you could do this manually, by topping up the transaction amount from your chosen card, but when you get the transaction notification if you could view it and then say top up from this card to cover this transaction you would get what you wanted. Seems like a smallish change to the app to get this functionality as it is just basically populating the topup amount. Obviously it would be nice to see this against the transaction as well :smile: People would need to be careful with credit cards as this would be a cash transaction and therefore people could incur fees.

(Saveen) #20

I guess it was only a matter of time…


I’m Shachar, the CEO of Curve. Today we’ve got some disappointing news. American Express have asked us to pause their functionality with Curve - which means you will not be able to use your Curve card with your Amex for the time being. This begins at midday on May 31st UK time - you’ll shortly receive another email with practical details of what will happen when we pause the American Express functionality - your Curve will continue to work with MasterCard and Visa.

American Express want to ensure there is a seamless customer support process for their Members when using their Card with Curve. We’re continuing discussions with their management, and hope that American Express decide to come back to Curve soon.

We’re continuing to build something big at Curve. The first ever platform to connect you to your everything money - transforming the way you handle your finances, bringing value and saving you time and money. We’re already connecting up all your bank cards, tracking your expenses in real time and saving you money with zero FX fees when you travel. This is just the beginning - we’re working hard on future features such as the ability to move charges between funding cards after you’ve paid, bespoke loyalty rewards and cash-backs, peer-to peer payments and much more.

As a big thank you for being one of Curve’s early adopters we are giving Blue card members £35 and Black card members £50 worth of Curve Points if you spend a total of £1000 over the next three months. You’ll be able to spend your Curve Points at any merchant that accepts MasterCard using your Curve. Please see our FAQs for further details.

We hope you choose to stay with us to continue the exciting journey we’ve begun together. Please write to me directly at - I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.

I’ll keep you updated.


Shachar Bialick,

CEO, Curve