The Curve Card and Why You Need One
Last week, I was introduced to a fantastic product called Curve Card. Curve card is essentially a payment card aggregator, with some big differences. You are able to load your payment cards into the app on the phone, and then use the one card to make your purchases. You can then use the app to define which card is active at the time of payment. Well, that sounds fairly basic and a nice to have, but I will describe why this card is ESSENTIAL for your startup business, with an added bonus if you use Xero as your accounting platform.
Credit where credit’s due (see what I did there!), I was informed about this company and their card by a GrowCyber colleague, who has been heavily involved in the FinTech startup scene for too long and previously worked with one of the largest payment gateway services organisations out there. I’ll admit, at first I was a little sceptical, as I had seen this kind of product fail before, mainly due to the legalities of such a solution. However, this is different. But before I go into details, I will describe some of the main pains I have experienced with card transactions as a startup/small business owner.
Using a Personal Card for Business Transactions
We always go out with the best intention of having a separate card for business transactions. The thought process being that anything that is purchased for the business account, will be business, and can go through the business accounting process more easily than using a personal card. No surprises there! However, for various reasons, we may be caught in a situation where we are unable to use the business card, and we then end up spending on the personal credit or debit card. We tell ourselves this is not convenient but it’s OK, as when we get five minutes, we can add it to the expenses and claim the money back from the business. Unsurprisingly as an entrepreneur, with more things to do than time, there are many occasions where I forget or fail to do this.
Paying on the Wrong Card
Also, in our haste, we may make a transaction on the wrong card. At that point, we resign ourselves to a crash course in accounting, to transfer and document the transactions across the accounts to make sure everything matches up (credits, invoices, bills, etc.). Again another nightmare for a simple error.
Lack of Integration With Accounting Platforms
Cards, in general, are pretty rubbish at direct integrations with accounting platforms. Bank accounts generally can work well, with the likes of Xero and QuickBooks. However, cards seem to always struggle, as you still need to manually break down what was spent on the card, and then can be difficult when you can’t remember what you spent what you bought last month. Hassle.
No Single View of Spending on Cards
When trying to understand spending habits, if you have a number of cards, it is practically impossible (not practical, rather than impossible) to pull together that information, correlate it, understand what is personal or business spend, and then use that information easily. That takes time, again something we lack as business owners and entrepreneurs!
Travelling abroad, while somewhat exotic on occasion, can lead to a bit of a pain on the cash side of things. Card issuers are still raking in the cream from international credit and debit card usage, if not through fees then through poor exchange rates. As a small business, these charges can rack up heavily, leaving you with less money to grow your business.
So Where Does This Leave Us?
Surely there must be a better solution out there given the technology available today, and the revised Payment Service Directive (PSD2) coming into effect. And thankfully, the Curve Card has answered this call. I will try and run through the features to answer the pain points above consecutively, just to make it a little easier to follow.
Mark Business Transactions on Personal Cards
The first feature is the ability to mark transactions on personal cards as business transactions. So when you have to use the personal card for something, instantly mark it as a business payment through the app, and you can easily keep track of the payments that need to be claimed. Better still (a new feature for October 17), if you are using Xero, then as soon as you mark the payment as personal, it will also instantly create the expense entry in your Xero account. This is what I have been waiting for! Now Xero just needs to streamline their expenses process and we can be in virtual accounting utopia.
Go Back in Time (GBiT), really!
Number two is a feature they call Go Back in Time, or GBiT for short. GBiT allows you to change the payment card used, after you have already made the payment. So if you realise that you actually wanted the spend to go on to another card, just use the app and it will transfer the payment across. Just so you are aware, there is a £1000 and 14 days limit for a transaction with this feature, but that should not pose an issue for most purchases.
Integrations with Other Providers
Number three ties back in quite nicely with the Xero integration. However, via the app, there is a voting process for other integrations too, such as Expensify, QuickBooks and a number of other well-known services. Using their integrations will greatly enhance and improve the experience of dealing with business finances.
Spending Report on All Your Cards in One Location
Number four is a nice byproduct on combining all your payment cards in one location. Combining the spending, also lets you combine the reports too. Therefore all the transactions that go on your Curve Card, can be viewed in one place. This gives you a much better overview of your spending, quickly and conveniently.
Spend Abroad Without Fees or Poor Exchange Rates
And lastly, number 5. You can spend with your Curve Card abroad, without incurring any of the fees your actual cards would have commanded behind it. PLUS it gives you a very good exchange rate to boot. Other cards such as Revolut and Monzo have offered these features for a while, but being able to do to this, and all of the above in one place, it somehow feels like Curve Card has a march on the market here.
The Curve Card comes with its own rewards program, in the form of a virtual card in the Curve app. It allows you to collect Reward Points which can be spent everywhere Mastercard is accepted.
There are a number of UK retailers already on the books to earn some of your spend back as Curve Rewards – up to 2.5% for Curve Blue users (free card), and up to 5% for Curve Black users (£50 one-off fee for the card).
Selected retailers today include House of Fraser, Boots and more.
With plans to support Apple Pay and Android Pay, contactless payments via the phone will be possible in future too!
If this article has been useful to you, and you would like to order a curve card with a FREE £5 credit, please use click on this link (http://bit.ly/2cSm3VB) or add the referral code 8OQIE (that’s a letter O by the way, not a zero!) when you sign up.