The 'Send' Facility - purchase or cash withdrawal?

This is hopefully being dealt with by support, but I haven’t heard back yet.

My policy in the UK is to avoid any ATM withdrawals on credit cards. I would also want to avoid any transaction my credit card provider might treat as a cash withdrawal, thereby charging a cash advance fee.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend had bought some tickets. Because he had a Curve account, I used the send facility on Curve to pay him for my ticket. My Vanquis credit card was selected at the time.

As expected, my friend received the credit. Since these funds were not withdrawable but only spendable, there was no reason for my transaction to be treated as a cash withdrawal. More importantly, nowhere have Curve given any suggestion that sending credit to another Curve account holder would count as a cash withdrawal.

However this is precisely how my transaction was classified by Vanquis. When it appeared on my credit card, Vanquis charged a £3 cash advance fee, plus daily interest. This was unexpected. If I’d known, I’d have selected a debit card or found another method to pay my friend.

I’d like to know if this was meant to happen. I’ve not read about it anywhere on the Curve site. I’ve read repeatedly that you can send money to other Curve account holders, using any of your selected cards. Nowhere is there any warning of potential cash advance fees from credit card providers, as there is for ATM withdrawals. Have others experienced this when they use the ‘send’ feature. Or was my case an anomaly, perhaps related to one credit card company?

Hey @simon66,

everytime an acquirer is creating a charge/authorization on your card he needs to add an MCC (Merchant Category Code). This MCC can then be used to identify the type of the transaction. (example: cash advance)

Since Curve Send is kinda a money transfer service, they would add one of the MCC below:

6010
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS - MANUAL CASH DISBURSEMENTS
6011
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS - AUTOMATED CASH DISBURSEMENTS
6012
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS - MERCHANDISE & SERVICES
6050
QUASI CASH-MEMBER FINANCIAL INSTITUTION
6051
QUASI CASH

Full list of MCC‘s
https://fs.fldfs.com/iwpapps/pcard/docs/MCCs.pdf

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Thank you FlareCO.

Having spoken to Vanquis (my credit card provider), they did indeed interpret the item as a money transfer.

However, I’m pleased that Curve have recredited me the Vanquis fee of £3. If I do use Curve Send again, I’ll avoid selecting any of my credit cards - unless I know it won’t be treated as a cash advance.

My question still stands. Have others experienced the same when they use a credit card for Curve Send? Or was my fee an anomaly from one particular provider?

There’s a strong case for Curve Send transactions not to be treated as cash advances. Curve account holders receiving the credit can never use it for anything except regular purchases. It cannot be redeemed or withdrawn as cash. It cannot even be used to buy cash. Nor can it be used to pay taxes, bills or other credit cards.

If it’s true that all Curve Send transactions are currently treated as cash advances, then until this changes, this should be clarified to customers. There should be a warning of potential cash advance fees from credit card providers, just as there is for ATM withdrawals.