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Curve Hit With Criticism Over Commercial Cards For Self-Employed

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U.K. FinTech startup Curve is facing allegations that it is sending corporate cards to customers expecting consumer cards, leading to higher hidden fees, reports in Business Insider said Thursday (Dec. 12).

According to reports, customers are voicing complaints that Curve was not transparent enough when sending cards to users. Customers who sign up for Curve and select “self-employed” are reportedly given commercial cards without specific clarity or notification provided about why they are given a commercial card, and how it differs from a consumer card.

The publication pointed to Curve’s online community message board, in which users are reporting they were unknowingly sent a business credit card while expecting a consumer card.

“I got in touch with [Curve] when I received a commercial card,” said one user, Ivan Cameron, who said on the message board he had expected a consumer credit card. “They tried to convince me there was no difference between the two. When I disagreed, they sent me a replacement card … Curve shouldn’t be sending commercial cards to people who don’t expressly request one.”

The publication noted that Curve could earn higher revenues from commercial cards compared to consumer cards. Issuers earn up to 1.1 percent on every transaction made with a commercial card, compared to the 0.2 percent made off of consumer cards.

Another user said on the message board that they were hit with extra charges when making purchases on train tickets because they were given a commercial card.

“I had no idea what a corporate card was or that I would face extra fees,” the user said. “In my view, Curve needs to be WAY ore upfront about this, and ensure that self-employed people are not bounced into corporate cards if they don’t want them.”

Reports noted that because Curve is not a bank, but rather an overlap platform that connects with other accounts, regulations that require financial service providers to obtain documentation from users who apply for a business account about their work do not apply.

“Curve customers might not even realize they even have a business card until they are hit with additional corporate fees on their transactions,” the publication said.

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