Since they closed the thread “Curve and its "mid-market" exchange rate” even though the problem there is not a display issue but that they are actually not giving the (falsely) advertised mid-market rates, I’ll continue my story here.
In the mentioned thread many people experienced that Curve is adding an extra amount on top of what Currency Layer provides. There is already enough proof there, so just closing that and labeling as “display issue” is nothing but a joke.
I did go all the way with their support to find out why are they doing this, and after 14 emails I got a half-baked answer, so I’ll share it here:
Thanks for your reply and once again, I’m sorry for the delay in responding to you whilst we looked into this further with our paytech team.
Typically, Currency Layer is much cheaper than high street banks as it’s sourced from a very broad base of commercial sources and banks around the world - you’ll save around 3-5% on each transaction using Curve. However, we’ll be more expensive for some transactions and much cheaper on others.
To respond to your point, thanks for your feedback on this. Rest assured, we’re working with our paytech team on this to ensure our rates are easier for our customers to understand. I’m sorry if this caused any confusion or disappointment.
Rest assured, for this transaction you weren’t charged any added fees. The difference between the rate you expected and the rate we charged just happened to be approximately 2%, I’m sorry for this confusion. If you were charged any fees on a transaction, you would see them directly in the Curve app.
It’s true that your fee-free FX allowance only applies when Curve performs a currency conversion (ie, HUF to HUF would not be included in your fee-free FX allowance and instead come under your Curve spending limits, HUF to GBP would be included in your free-free FX allowance).
I can see the difference between what we charged and what you expected to be charged was 1,560.84 HUF, which is approximately £3.83. I’ve applied 500 Curve Cash points to your Curve Cash card to cover this.
In the meantime, please let us know if there’s anything else you’d like our help with.
To sum up their support, it’s both good and bad.
- at least finally I’ve got something that looks like a confirmation about the ambiguous terms, namely when does my spending in local currency count towards the fee-free FX allowance.
- they “refunded” me with some curve points as “good will”
But it was a bad experience because:
- It took like 14 messages and a few weeks back and forth to arrive to this point (each reply from a different support person!)
- I still got no exact answer on why the rate was different by 2%, other than Curve will keep on improving things with the payment provider, etc…
- It is still very suspicious that the difference was exactly 2%, so I’m still not convinced that Curve does differentiate between what counts and what not towards my FX spending limit (will test it again and see how it goes)
As for the “I will test again”, I did it today, and… you can guess, same story, mid-market rate for HUF/USD was around 321.5, I’ve got charged at a rate somewhere around 327.
For this last round I don’t have the energy to go after it again with support to get another couple hundred Curve points. It is a sad story because they do have good ideas in some areas, but I regret that I’ve put money into this company through Crowdfunding, but learned my lesson (I’ll put my fancy red investor card in a place where it will always remind me not to use it, ever). Hopefully others will also get some takeaways here, and at least be more aware about what Curve collectively treats as “display issues”.