Why doesn't Curve forward all MCC codes properly?

@ivanbg

Just for a moment can I ask you to imagine I make a purchase with my underlying credit card directly, not via Curve?

So the transaction passes directly from the supplier to the credit card issuer. Let’s imagine for the sake of this example that the MCC code is 1234. This code represents the suppliers business type. This does not change depending on what credit card is presented for the transaction. So 1234 arrives at the credit card company. If the credit card company recognises the code that’s fine, but even if it doesn’t I don’t believe the transaction will fail. So the charge will be applied to the card without reference to the MCC…

Now lets take the case where we use Curve as the intermediary party. They receive the MCC 1234 from the supplier. Why can they not simply pass that code to the underlying credit card? The underlying card will just recognise (or not) the MCC in exactly the same way as if the transaction had been direct.

So I ask again why does the MCC need to be changed at all? The fact that not all issuers recognise all codes is irrelevant, the underlying card must be able to handle any code presented and it is not up to Curve to ‘fix’ this for each issuer. No mapping is required in any case.

1 Like

I wouldn’t be so sure about that. MCCs are used to decide both the card processing rates and the eventual points you will earn, so I don’t think the credit card provider will validate a transaction using an unknown MCC.

Some info: Merchant Category Codes (MCCs): What You Need To Know - ValuePenguin

Just had this happen to me. Checked the MCC of a shop ahead of time (with a card that shows it) - it was 8249 (education). Paid a large bill with Curve - shows up as 8999 on the underlying card, which does not give cashback!

Curve, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

@Curve_Joel The last update from Hannah in this thread was in 2020, where she said that the team was planning to implement a change later in 2020. Looks like it’s still not fixed 1.5 years later.

I’d really really appreciate, if not a fix, at least an update.

And in the meantime we really, REALLY need a full list of supported MCC codes (ones that don’t get changed to generic ones after pass-through)!

The more I explore these forums I find these kind of threads with promises and features / fixes that are supposed to come soon… but never seem to materialize…

2 Likes

Hey @alexschernyshev, thanks for reviving this thread. I’ve found the matching discussion about this issue from our internal channels and have raised this with the members of the team who mentioned these expected changes to Hannah. I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve heard back from them with an update on whether these changes were implemented!

6 Likes

Discovered yet another code not being forwarded - 5198 (“Paints, Varnishes, and Supplies”) becomes 5399 (“Miscellaneous General Merchandise Stores”).

So an updated list sorted by MCC

4214 → 4111 (Local Delivery) → (Transportation - Suburban and Local Commuter Passenger, including Ferries)
5192 → 5999 (Books, Periodicals and Newspapers) → (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores)
5198 → 5399 (Paints, Varnishes, and Supplies) → (Miscellaneous General Merchandise Stores)
5441 → 5999 (Candy, Nut and Confectionery Stores) → (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores)
5462 → 5999 (Bakeries) → (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores)
5542 → 8999 (Fuel Dispenser, Automated) → (Professional Services - not elsewhere classified)
5941 → 5999 (Sporting Goods Stores) → (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores)
7230 → 7299 (Barber and Beauty Shops) → (Other Services - not elsewhere classified)
8099 → 8999 (Health Practitioners, Medical Services) → (Professional Services - not elsewhere classified)
8111 → 8999 (Legal services) → (Professional Services - not elsewhere classified)
8249 → 8999 (Education) → (Professional Services - not elsewhere classified)

I ingeniously ask: what’s the matter about forwarding a different MCC code?

this week i had a transaction with 8099, it wasn’t remapped to 8999, went through unchanged. i will update this list with my findings soon

Hey everyone, I’m still looking into this with the payments team to see how much information I can share publicly- thanks for your continued patience!
For now, can everyone please let me know if the changes to MCC has affected your cashback, finance management or any other aspect of your spending in a negative way?

1 Like

Because Curve changes:

I used to pay with my underlying card directly at the pay at pump and not with my Curve card, because one specific underlying card does not give cashback for 8999.

1 Like

Does 5542 still map to 8999 now?

I can’t use Curve card in a gas station. Perhaps because of this map?

Hey @poeliev and @lgx, I’ve checked this and can confirm that 5542 MCC codes are now mapped to 5531 instead due to a technical limitation.

5541 is for Service Stations while 5542 is for Fuel dispensers. I can’t confirm whether this would mean you should be receiving cashback on these transactions again @poeliev as it will be up to your bank card provider to make this distinction between the two MCC codes. If you would be willing to double-check this with your bank then this should help to clear up this issue?

It is highly unlikely that you can’t use your Curve card at automatic petrol stations because of this mapping.

What is more likely is that Curve blocked automatic fuel dispensers for you. In the past (not sure if still the case) automatic fuel dispensers were considered as risky transactions by Curve and blocked for all new Curve customers, you needed to contact Curve support to get it unblocked on an individual basis. There is a huge topic on this subject in our community:

1 Like

Thanks for checking this, @Curve_Joel.

I personally will get my cashback now, since I didn’t get cashback because MCC 8999 is specifically excluded from cashback for that underlying card.

However I can imagine that others who have underlying cards which give cashback on fuel/petrol still don’t get cashback. I mean 5542 Fuel Dispenser, Automated is something completely different than 5531 Automobile Supply Stores. If it isn’t (‘technically’) possible to keep 5542 as MCC isn’t it possible to map it to MCC 5541 Service Stations.

I have great news for you, @poeliev! 5531 was a typo and should read as 5541. Sorry for the confusion!

2 Likes

my updated list

5542 → 8999 (Fuel Dispenser, Automated) → (Professional Services - not elsewhere classified) - curve’s info about 5541 needs to be confirmed
4214 → 4111 (Local Delivery) → (Transportation - Suburban and Local Commuter Passenger, including Ferries)
5192 → 5399 (Books, Periodicals and Newspapers) → (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores)
5198 → 5399 (Paints, Varnishes, and Supplies) → (Miscellaneous General Merchandise Stores)
5441 → 5999 (Candy, Nut and Confectionery Stores) → (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores)
5462 → 5999 (Bakeries) → (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores)
5941 → 5999 (Sporting Goods Stores) → (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores)
7230 → 7299 (Barber and Beauty Shops) → (Other Services - not elsewhere classified)
8111 → 8999 (Legal services) → (Professional Services - not elsewhere classified)
8249 → 8999 (Education) → (Professional Services - not elsewhere classified)
5995 → 5999 (Pet Shops, Pet Food and Supplies) → (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores)
5697 → 5699 (Alterations, Mending, Seamstresses, Tailors) → (Accessory and Apparel Stores–Miscellaneous)
5261 → 5399 (Lawn and Garden Supply Stores) → (Miscellaneous General Merchandise Stores) - needs another confirmation
5945 → 5999 (Game, Toy and Hobby Shops) → (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores) - needs another confirmation
4784 → 4111 (Bridge and Road Fees, Tolls) → (Transportation - Suburban and Local Commuter Passenger, including Ferries) - needs another confirmation

2 Likes

@Curve_Joel hi, erste bank has a lot of “max” credit card customers in hungary. because of curve’s remapping scheme customers are losing 3 percent cashback (=being credited 1 percent cashback instead of 4) in these cases:

5542 → 8999 (Fuel Dispenser, Automated) → (Professional Services - not elsewhere classified) - it’s ok if it’s really 5541 now, i’ll check as soon as i can
5192 → 5399 (Books, Periodicals and Newspapers) → (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores)
5441 → 5999 (Candy, Nut and Confectionery Stores) → (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores)
5941 → 5999 (Sporting Goods Stores) → (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores)
5261 → 5399 (Lawn and Garden Supply Stores) → (Miscellaneous General Merchandise Stores)

1 Like

In the light of this multi-year long debate I think this not fully true statement needs updating to reflect reality.

What do you think Curve team?