You have likely heard of Curve. The company offers the unique payment product that allows users to consolidate all of their cards into one card and one app. Curve is now launching a P2P app that will reach 25 countries through the use of Mastercard Send and Visa Direct. TechCrunch reported:
Dubbed “Curve Send,” the feature lets you send money from any of your bank accounts (via the debit cards you have linked to Curve) to any other account in over 25 different currencies. It does this by utilising the APIs of Visa and Mastercard, essentially turning the card networks into a single money transfer network via Curve as the intermediary.
“Curve Send instantly solves people’s problem of financial fragmentation by consolidating all their cards into one, eliminating the lengthy money transfer process experienced by most customers when they want to send money to their friends or peers using multiple bank accounts or multiple currencies,” says the London-based fintech.
To transfer money via Curve Send, you simply open the Curve app, choose a contact and amount, and then select which of your linked bank cards you want to send the money from. The recipient will then get notified and be asked to take a photo of their bank card, and Curve will send the money directly to their bank via the card network.
What’s interesting about this P2P app launch is the fact that Curve is using its own brand (Curve Send). Since it is not a significant a brand in the financial services market, it will be interesting to see Curve can gain traction. Brand standards were an important factor in the development of Zelle as a domestic P2P application. Without a recognized, shared brand, financial institutions found that consumers were confused about where they could send and receive funds. Consumers’ perspectives may have changed since then, and they may be willing to trust a lesser known entity with their money.
Also of note is that the service is fee-free and promises competitive exchange rates:
In a brief email exchange with Curve founder and CEO Shachar Bialick, he said that “Curve is basically operating like an exchange” in that it brings Visa and Mastercard together, with Curve powering communication between the two card networks for peer-to-peer payments. “We’ve done tests for the past two months and people love it,” he says.
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group