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How Anti-Embarrassment Mode went from ‘cool idea’ to cool new feature

15 Jan 2021
3 min read

Back in December, we did something pretty exciting. We pushed the button on Anti-Embarrassment Mode, a world-first innovation that allows Curve customers to choose up to two backup cards from their Curve wallet. So when your selected payment card doesn’t go through, your backup cards automatically swoop in to save you from that awkward moment with the cashier. 

This has been in the pipeline for quite a while, and is just one of a number of smart technologies we’re introducing to give people more control over the way they pay. So, how did we go from concept to execution? 

We had a head start

Usually, a project like this would be seriously time-consuming – a long trial-and-error process. But thanks to a similar feature we’d released earlier in the year, a lot of the trickier technical stuff had already been done. You might even use it yourself. Curve Cash Auto-spend is an optional feature we brought in that automatically withdraws funds from your Curve Cash account, provided you have enough to cover the cost of the transaction. This eliminates the need to check your Curve Cash balance or swipe and select it as a payment card. It also stops customers getting declined because they accidentally have their Curve Cash card selected as their payment card. 

Declines are a problem, and were also a big driver in pushing forward with backup cards. We wanted customers to have total confidence in paying with Curve, and believed the security net inherent in having  backup cards could do just that. As our Product manager, André Pinto, so elegantly put it “We wanted to create a product where customers could say, ‘Curve saved my ass.’” Within one month (and 150 name suggestions) Anti-Embarrassment Mode was ready for testing. When it worked without a hiccup, it was ready for the masses. 

Making it easy

Simplification is at the core of everything we do. Which means we have to work exceptionally hard to make things as easy as possible. This involves creating the most seamless, idiot-proof journey for our customers. 

For Anti-embarrassment mode, we condensed activation into 3 simple steps: 

  1. Go to your “account” 

  2. Tap “settings” 

  3. Select “Anti-Embarrassment Mode” in “features”

The reaction 

The jury’s out on Anti-Embarrassment Mode and according to the world’s highest court - Twitter - people like it! 


So far, 25K customers have used the feature, and we’ve been able to mitigate 70% of their declines. 

We’re really proud of what we’ve done with Anti-Embarrassment mode, and once we’ve integrated it into the onboarding journey, it will be even easier for new customers to set up. This is our second in a whole suite of automated features we’re working on to truly customise the way customers use Curve. Watch this space. 

FintechMobile paymentsCurveAnti-Embarrassment ModeBackup card

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