Curve is "discriminated"

I am with Curve since the very beginning and I’ve supported the company in one way or another as Curve Investor and now as Curve Metal cardholder.

Currently I live in Germany and a few months ago I opened a Vivid account and got a Vivid VISA debit card.
The attractive thing about Vivid is the 1% cashback (actually it used to be 1.5% until recently) rewards on ALL purchases made with Vivid (as opposed to Curve which allows only up to 6 merchants (in the Metal plan)) and other convenient features as they are a fintech company with a real bank on the back.

In the Curve app, I have the Vivid VISA Debit card configured as the primary underlying card. Everything was working fine until the beginning of November and I was enjoying the cashback from Curve on selected merchants and the cashback from Vivid on all other transactions.

However, a few days ago Vivid changed the terms of their cashback program, reduced the cashback percentage to 1% and imposed some other limitations. Among these changes is the “discrimination” of Curve. Here is the related term:

Vivid does not pay any cashback to all types of clients that use Curve for their payment transactions.

When I asked about the rational behind this change and explained that Curve is merely a proxy card and the actual card charged is the Vivid VISA Debit Card, they didn’t provide me any answer besides “We are sorry for the inconvenience” canned response which seems to be pretty popular these days.

I understand, that Curve cannot do anything about this. I’m just publishing this so that Curve can take a note on how it’s been “treated” in the real world…

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It’s not discriminate.

Vivid doesn’t like you taking advantage of the cashback processes, therefore has amended their terms to ensure you aren’t abusing this.

Simple really.

There was a credit card company that closed customers accounts who did similar here in the UK, can’t recall who it was. It’s just how business wants to roll.

Not discriminate, just you being smart and Vivid being smarter by blocking your double gains.

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The list of merchants I receive 1% cashback via Curve is limited to 6 (in the Metal plan) and in reality I only use 2 on a daily/weekly basis. So yes, for these two merchants I receive 1% cashback from Curve and another 1% from Vivid if you wanna call this “abuse”…
On the other hand I pay €150/year as a Curve Metal member and €7.90/month as a Vivid Prime member, so in my opinion, yes, I am “smart” and I use the system to my benefit.
Vivid is not being “smarter” than me as they don’t know if and what kind of cashback I have with Curve. I could be a free Curve member for all they care… But for whatever reason after 6 or so months being with Vivid, they just decided not to pay cashback to anyone who is using Curve for their transactions.
So what’s gonna come next? PayPal…? Will they also stop paying cashback to anyone who is using PayPal in online or physical stores, etc.?
The way I see it, Curve is very similar to PayPal… A proxy, a frontend to the actual credit/debit card. Each one of them has of course their own features, but in essence they are the same.

Bottom line, Vivid can do whatever they want, but so do I… My relationship with them has a short expiration date. The same with Curve, for other reasons of course, and if they don’t take care of their “support” issues.

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Well that’s down to PayPal isn’t it.

Vivid make their rules, they have more power over you being smart by removing your ability to cash in twice off the same product.

The glory of competition is you’re free to explore other options if the current ones don’t suit you.

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I don’t think Vivid or any company cares if you take advantage through different parties, so this is besides the point. They just don’t want their revenues to be reduced because of the other party.
The issues with Curve are multiple imho:

  • GBiT makes it easier to get transactions refunded and they have to recalculate the cashback everytime, even though people could have already converted it to euro and spent it;
  • especially in offline purchases, they get a reduced POS fee because Curve pays offline but then Vivid only has to get an online POS fee (with Curve being the merchant), which is lower then the offline one;
  • lately Curve transactions were sent to some underlying cards, like Vivid, as “crv*name surname” or something similar, which made it impossible to immediately map the correct merchant. Even though, perhaps, the correct merchant appeared after settlement, their system is designed to grant cashback immediately. So they were also probably flooded with support requests due to missing cashbacks because of this issue.

So I suppose that to make things easier they just decided that transactions through Curve were not eligible for cashback anymore.

I totally agree… “Vivid” is NOT the police or some kind of authority… As long as I respect the terms and conditions and use their card in a legitimate way, they don’t (and SHOULD NOT) care what I do with Curve or any other credit card and merchant.
If for example, Amazon itself gives me directly extra cashback or points because I am a frequent shopper and I pay with my Vivid Debit card (thus getting another 1% cashback from Vivid directly), should Vivid discontinue cashback for Amazon because I supposedly “take advantage of the cashback process”?

@CarlO890: As @nekorb mentioned, this is besides the point. Don’t try to make me look like the bad guy here who is abusing the cashback process…

It’s true that a small number of transactions made with my Curve card appear on my Vivid statement as “CRV*Merchant Name”. In the past, even for these transactions, I would receive the entitled 1% cashback.
Apparently, the “CRV*Merchant Name” transactions are “breaking” Vivid’s cashback process and they decided now not to deal with this overhead.

At the end of the day, this is not a big deal. It’s just a bit more inconvenient now cause I won’t be using my Curve card anymore, at least not for the every day purchases… I will reserve it for buying air tickets or a mobile phone, etc. where the Metal Curve adds value through the travel and mobile phone insurance.

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Not making you look a bad guy, it’s just clear Vivid don’t think you should get cashback twice so have made it clear on their terms they won’t do it.

Simple really, not sure why you’re moaning about it.

Creation Credit Card closed customers accounts who were doing similar, claiming twice.

It’s just how business is.

I’m not moaning…! I’m simply curious why this is happening and surprised as the poor “Daniel, who used Curve to pay for transactions from his Creation account a few times, was notified out of the blue that his account would be cancelled.”…
So, even if my Vivid card hasn’t been cancelled, I’m still wondering why???
Daniel from this article, myself and thousands of other Curve users are NOT misusing our cards. We are just simply using them as we are supposed to…
And for your information, the Section 75 protection is only applicable in UK, not in Germany, Spain, Greece or anywhere else in Europe. “A lack of Section 75 protection seems to be an influencing factor too…” is simply BS…

There are thousands of credit cards out there with some form of cashback or rewards program. So aren’t we supposed to put them under the the Curve “smart card” because we might be benefiting both from Curve and the underlying credit card provider?
If “Creation”, “Vivid” and any other “supposedly-playing-smart-credit-card-providers” stop accepting credit card transactions made via Curve cards, then it really becomes Curve’s problem.

As I mentioned before, “Creation”, “Vivid” and any other credit card provider DO NOT have any authority and any saying of what kind and how much of a cashback I can receive from any other merchant besides the one they are providing. Look at my “Amazon” example! Or as another example, should they also control the bonus miles you get from your airline company (which you can redeem later for a discounted or free ticket) claiming that “you are getting bonus miles”, thus you are not entitled for a cashback?

What we can agree is that “Creation”, “Vivid” and the likes can restrict the usage of the “Curve” card as any merchant, shop, restaurant, etc. can say “we do not accept credit cards - cash only”.
And if they do not want to provide a rational justification for their decision, that’s fine for me too.
Like you said, this is how business is, and that’s why I am taking away my business from “Vivid” and if necessary from “Curve”. My money, my rules!

It’s not Vivid who pays for the “double” cashback so why should they care about people getting a second benefit from some other party? That’s not the reason at all and using Curve it’s not even remotely an abuse. Also the majority of Curve customers are with the free tier and don’t get an additional cashback, but they are still rescricted. The real reasons may be the ones I listed.
Anyway @ ydiamant there is no use in discussing further about why Vivid decided to do so, If someone believes it’s because Vivid does not want you to get a second revenue, they are entitled to think so, the main thing is the news of the rescrition and that is just what it is.

I know they don’t, but their moral stance is you can’t have your cake and eat it :sweat_smile:

It’d unfortunate that some businesses decide to remove Curve from the payment process. Our stance has always been that we work with your banks and empower you in your financial, and therefore general, life.

We believe the majority of businesses will recognise this vision with us but it’s always a shame when a bank or other related business decides that the benefits of working with Curve don’t justify the slight reduction of visibility on customer spending. I’m sure there’s a much bigger conversation to be had on the subject but without knowing the discussions happening internally in these other companies it does Curve little good to speculate on their conclusions.

I agree wholeheartedly with this statement and you’re right that it’s up to us (Curve) to make the changes and improvements needed to continue adding value to our users wherever we can :clap: