Has Curve recently changed the way it processes transactions? Nationwide Visa card treats them all as cash transactions

I have just been in contact with my bank / credit card provider, after recently having a number of transactions (under £10) declined by my credit card (through curve).

This turns out to be because the transaction against my credit card by curve was a CASH transaction, and my credit card only supports cash transactions over £10.

I have confirmed with my CC provider that other transactions (in the past few weeks) have also gone through as cash transactions, and that whilst I haven’t yet been charged for these transactions, I may be in future.

They inform me that this change in the way curve process transactions happened in the last few weeks (which fits with the declines I have had).

The advice from the credit card company is to STOP USING CURVE.

Obviously, I would rather that not be the case, but at present I risk being charged for these cash transactions + transactions under £10 are being declined, which makes me wary of using the curve card until this issue is resolved.

I did try contacting support through the app but that experience was terrible with stock responses from bots that didn’t understand what the problem was and instructed me to contact my card vendor despite me having already mentioned that I had already done that.

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My Curve transactions went through last weeks without the MCC being changed. So as far as I am concerned nothing has changed in the way Curve sends the transactions to our underlying cards.
So to me it looks like what has changed is the way your bank/credit card provider handles Curve transactions. That is they treat those transactions as cash transactions now. Which bank/credit card company is this?

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It’s a Nationwide Visa card.

It is they that told me Curve changed the way they processed transactions a few weeks ago. Why would they tell me that if it wasn’t true?

No. These are not cash transactions, they are normal purchases. So it is not because the CC company has changed their cash transaction T&Cs its because Curve transactions are now being treated as cash transactions (as of a few weeks ago) for whatever reason.

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they probably just don’t know better

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Without knowing exactly what they were, it’s difficult to know if they were normal transactions which your credit card provider (Nationwide) is treating as cash transactions because you’ve used Curve, due to a new policy - Tesco Bank tried this a while ago with their credit cards and had to row back from it - or whether it is actually a transaction which the credit card would normally consider to be a cash transaction anyway (these are not necessarily just obvious things like using a cash machine, they also usually include things like buying lottery tickets).

It is unlikely to be Curve’s fault as Curve generally passes through the Merchant Category Code used for a transaction to your underlying card (in limited cases, it may get changed slightly to a similar equivalent code) so ordinary purchases should show as normal transactions unless your credit card singles out Curve for extra charges. Curve haven’t changed how they process transactions recently. Nationwide may have done.

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Well atm the situation is…

Nationwide say it’s not them, Curve changed the way they process transactions.

Community saying can’t possibly be Curve.

Curve just sending stupid stock responses about not having enough funds and not reading my support requests, which I think is a disgraceful way to provide support. I could not have been clearer in my support requests, I just want someone to figure out what is going on.

  • these are not cash transactions, they are for normal everyday non-cash transaction stuff like shopping, online orders etc etc
  • It is extremely unlikely to be Tesco, as its happened with other merchants.
  • I accept it could be Nationwide but they have categorically stated it isn’t them.
  • Can’t get a sensible response from curve, just keep getting stock responses unrelated to my query.

So at the moment the ball is in Curve’s court and they are currently refusing to play.

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You misunderstood why I had mentioned Tesco.

The issue was specifically with Tesco Bank credit cards treating all Curve transactions as cash withdrawals and applying fees. This caused the sort of issue you were experiencing. Bad publicity over it led Tesco Bank to revert to their previous position of not charging to use Curve after customers complained.

It is likely that something similar is happening with Nationwide, possibly by accident.

How would Nationwide even know if they had or not, especially when they haven’t. It smacks of an excuse to me.

I would put in a complaint to Nationwide stating that you have been charged cash withdrawal fees for transactions which clearly weren’t cash withdrawals. Say you want the fees refunded and their systems corrected so this doesn’t happen again. Mention that the transactions were for ordinary shopping. Mention the difficulties you’ve had with Nationwide’s responses to your queries and how it has been difficult to get anywhere.

The resultant investigation (every complaint has to be investigated) will probably sort out the problem. The real issue here, which is common with a niche query like this, is that getting past frontline support who can’t deal with your problem is causing you to hit a wall: Nationwide have been very unaccommodating and you should complain as a result.

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Mention the difficulties you’ve had with Nationwide’s responses to your queries and how it has been difficult to get anywhere.

It’s not nationwide responses I am having difficulty with.

I would appreciate a response to my support requests from Curve first. I can hardly go back to Nationwide and say Curve say they have not changed the way they process transactions, because Curve support is currently not responding other than with stock responses/bots suggesting the declines are because I don’t having enough money or my CC provider blocks curve (I have 1000s of curve transactions on my card, with many recent ones >£10 even some below £10 weirdly). It seems mention the word decline in your support request and you get the same stock response.

I have not been charged fees, not yet at least. The problem is transactions under £10 are being declined. It is when I chased my card provider as to why they were being declined and the reason is because £10 is below the minimum for a cash withdrawal.

So that prompted the question, why is it a cash withdrawal and were any of the transactions that did go through (>£10) also cash transactions? To which after they checked my account is when they stated curve changed how they process transactions a few weeks ago and yes other transactions that were NOT declined (>£10) were also cash transactions (they weren’t but were processed as such).

They also said others were having the same issue recently. And they advised I stopped using curve until it was resolved as I may incur charges in the future.

So all I want from Curve is for them to check the transactions to see if they were or were not cash transactions. That will give me the ammunition needed to go back to Nationwide an ask them to look into it further.

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Yes it is, they’ve refused to investigate and simply blamed Curve.

You wouldn’t accept them refusing to investigate a transaction and telling you to go back to the retailer to sort it - Curve is the retailer in this instance.

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Well the people at Nationwide are sort of accusing Curve of something, so in my mind it would be logical to first ask Curve to defend themselves (and their customers) by proving them wrong and by providing proof of having charged the underlying card with a certain MCC, different than one referring to a cash withdrawal.
In the meantime @Mehuge you could lie a little to Nationwide, tell them that Curve is saying that they have passed the right MCC and ask them for a proof of the latest transaction with the visible MCC with which they have exactly been charged by Curve, so you can see what they come up with. Of course tell them that you are going to use this as evidence for Curve to fix the problem.

But I as well don’t believe Curve has changed anything, I think the issue is with the credit card company.

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Let me rephrase that.

It’s not nationwide I am having difficulty getting a response from. They checked my transactions and said they were cash transactions.

Curve are not even checking instead closing questions with stock responses that are nothing to do with the problem.

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I should not have to lie to Nationwide because curve won’t event have a cursory look to see if the transactions look good from their end.

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Try to contact Curve on twitter and tell them that the support is not answering your questions.

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Yes, but they refused to investigate why that was. I would have asked to escalate or make a complaint.

They didn’t refuse to investigate further.

I didn’t ask them because I was satisfied with the explanation they provided, enough for me to contact curve to ask them if that was indeed the case. It’s not like Nationwide answered, said curves fault and hung up. The operative first checked the transactions, confirmed they were cash transactions, then when challenged, went away to discuss with whoever/supervisor before coming back with its the way curve are processing their transactions. This was in fact my second call to them about the issue. I have no reason to disbelieve their explanation, not until I have spoken to Curve and given them chance to deny the problem is at their end.

It’s only because of lack of response from Curve I came here to see if it was a known issue (apparently not) and in the vein hope Curve might respond here (again, apparently not).

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I will try that.
I don’t know why support are being awful at the moment, they have typically been very good.

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Definitely agree I’m very dissatisfied the fact that their prioritising expansion to United States and doing nothing about customer service here. Very disappointing😤

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Well it seems I might never get to the bottom of this, as it appears whatever the problem was and whosever fault it was, it has been rectified.

I re-attempted original payment of £7.99 again today (who’s decline sparked the whole investigation) as I had run out of time and needed to pay it, and it was not declined which suggests it is no longer being treated as a cash transaction given that nationwide claim there is a minimum £10 for cash transactions (the reason given for the initial decline).

So who’s fault it was I guess I will never know (I know some of you have your suspicions), unless curve do eventually come back to me with an actual response. I am not going to pursue the issue for now as I have already wasted way too much of my time on it, I will just be mindful of it incase it resurfaces.

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I used to work for nationwide and my gut instinct is to say that the members of staff you spoke to don’t have a clue what they are talking about. Despite the fact that Nationwide likes to market itself as a cuddly building society, they’re actually a pretty unpleasant organisation, both towards their staff and to customers and staff training is often very poor. I always remember one particular complaint I had to deal with for them - a little old lady had got herself in a tizzy because she had opened an ISA on the same day as her husband and he’d ended up with a couple of pence more interest. She was convinced she’d messed her ISA up somewhere. It turned out the difference was because she’d paid in by cheque and therefore hadn’t earned interest until the cheque cleared whereas her husband Paul in cash and got instant interest. As a goodwill gesture I paid her the 25p or so difference in interest and got into serious trouble. How dare I use Nationwide’s money like that. For 25p and a panicking old lady.

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