We are bringing Amex back!
At Curve, our mission is to give you more control over your finances. We have come a long way working towards achieving our mission, but we still have a long way to go. Part of what makes us come into work smiling every day is the opportunity to translate our customers’ wishes into reality. One of the top items on many of our customers’ wish lists for Curve was the Amex integration.
We are excited to share that this is now a reality. As of today, Curve supports Amex again. One thousand beta testers have been selected from amongst many applicants to participate in a Closed Beta programme. All successful applicants were sent a link to a Beta app to replace their current one. Deploying a Beta version of the app is part of our testing process and will allow us to make sure that everything runs smoothly before launching the Open Beta.
We interviewed Diego Rivas, our Product Manager in charge of the Amex launch, to clarify some questions that have been put to us through different channels.
Marie: Hi Diego, It’s been quite the journey and I’m excited to say: Amex is back! Happy to have you here - let’s have a chat about what’s going on and answer questions from our customers.
Diego: Thank you, Marie. Yes, Amex is back on Curve and soon this feature will be open to all Curve users. For now, we are releasing a Closed Beta version to 1,000 customers. We are starting small to ensure the experience for everyone is amazing when we launch.
Marie: Many of our customers have expressed their interest in the Beta programme. Why did Curve decide to go for a closed Beta and how can our customers become testers for this or other Beta Programmes?
Diego: We have made many changes in our systems and introduced new technologies in order to start supporting Amex again. In order to test these, we decided to release a closed Beta with a limited number of people, before rolling it out to all our users. We might open the Beta again for further users before we open it to the general public - if you want to be part of future testing for Curve Amex Beta and haven't been selected yet, you can apply here. The Curve Amex Closed Beta Programme will work as a blueprint to develop our general Beta testing process.
Marie: Which Amex cards can our customers add to their Curve account?
Diego: Curve will accept most consumer Amex cards issued in the UK, either Amex-branded (eg Preferred Rewards Gold card) or co-branded (eg BA Amex or Nectar Amex cards). During our open Beta, UK business cards and all cards issued outside the UK will not be supported. We will publish a detailed list of supported cards closer to the general launch. We are currently working with Amex on making the feature available for the rest of the EEA where we currently operate - but at general launch, it will only be available to UK customers.
Marie: What happened to the planned launch in November? Why are we announcing a closed Beta instead?
Diego: Our original plan was to release Amex support to all our customers in November, but the technical aspects of it made it impracticable. Our Product Engineering Team has been working extremely hard to bring Amex back to Curve. Alongside the return of Amex, we have been working to ensure that our systems are ready to support the exponential growth in customers. This time, preparing for growth is why we had to delay our launch and decided to run a closed Beta.
Going forward, in order to increase transparency even further, we will be opening up our Curve Product Roadmap to show what we are currently working on, what’s in the pipeline for the next 6 months and what is on our speculative board.
By the way, if you are a great engineer looking for your next challenging opportunity then get in touch with us, we are hiring!
Marie: How will the Amex feature work?
Diego: Spending with your Amex card will work a bit differently than how you currently spend with your Mastercard and Visa cards on Curve.
We have implemented a manual top-up model to start with. We plan on offering the same live-load model we have with Mastercard and Visa in the future.
Customers will be able to earn their Amex points when they top-up their Amex wallets on Curve. In addition, customers will be able to earn Curve cashback or rewards points when they spend with their Curve card.
With our optional auto top-up feature to come in the open Beta version, the payment experience with Amex on Curve will be seamless for our customers.
Marie: How about making ATM withdrawals with Curve using Amex as the underlying payment card?
Diego: As Amex is a credit card, we will not allow cash withdrawals from an ATM or as cashback when the Amex card is selected in the Curve app. This is in line with our Fair Use Policy.
Marie: Are there any costs for customers who use Amex with Curve?
Diego: Yes, there are some extra costs associated with offering this feature, that we need to cover in order to have a sustainable proposition. This is how it will work for the Closed Beta:
Curve Black* customers will be able to top up their Amex wallet up to £1,000 monthly fee free. If you top-up more than £1,000 in a month, you will pay a 0.65% fee on any top-up over £1,000. This means, for example, that if in day 1 of the month you top up £500, you pay no fee. And if within the same month you then top up £600, you will pay a fee on £100 which in this case would be 65p.
Curve Blue customers will be able to top up their Amex wallet using our pay-as-you-go offer at a fee of 0.65% per top-up. This means that, if you top up £100, your Amex account will be charged £100.65 and you will have £100 in your Amex wallet on Curve to spend from.
Marie: What about spending abroad?
Diego: Amex can be used abroad with Curve. Our customers will benefit from zero exchange rate fees, which will allow them to save up to 5% on their purchases - to find out more go to our website. On top of that, they will be able to keep earning their Amex rewards anywhere they pay abroad with Curve.
Marie: Is there anything else you would like to share with us while you are here?
Diego: For anyone who doesn’t have an Amex card, I wanted to give you a quick spoiler about the product roadmap I mentioned above; we will be releasing it in our brand new Curve Community, which is going public in December! There you will find more information and details on Curve Metal cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay integration, and the many other great features we are currently working on, which are planned for next year. Watch this space!
Marie: Thank you for your time, Diego!
*Please note that all Curve cards issued from January to August this year (2018) were black in colour. Curve Black refers to the product type, which is the paid tier. If you did not pay £50 you are likely on the Curve Blue product type even if you card is black. If you are unsure which product tier you have, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.