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60 Hours Under the Hood with Curve

By Shachar Bialick29 Jun 2020
4 min read

On Friday 26 June, the Financial Conduct Authority suspended its permission for Wirecard Card Solutions Limited (the company which issued the Curve Cards and processed transactions for us) to operate, without prior notice or warning. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you’ve now seen, this has not only affected Curve, but many other companies relying on Wirecard in the financial sector.

So, on Friday, we were forced to temporarily suspend all Curve transactions and money transfer services, which meant that no one was able to use their Curve card from Friday 12:30pm GMT until midnight last night.

Thankfully, as part of our planned growth strategy, we had already started our transition away from Wirecard a few months back by becoming a principal member of Mastercard. This means that we were able to bring more of our core processes in house, as we continue our mission to simplify and unify the world of money for people across the globe. 

Since Friday, there has been a herculean effort from Team Curve, along with our partners at Mastercard, and we’ve successfully completed our migration away from Wirecard, bringing our Card and E-money issuing in-house. This process was brought forward to minimise disruption and restore the service for our customers at the earliest possible opportunity and is a truly remarkable feat, completing a process that would ordinarily take months in just a few hours.

But that’s only one half of the story.

In addition to issuing, Wirecard were also our acquiring partner, responsible for processing Curve card payments. And so, whilst plans for finding a new global acquiring partner were already well underway as part of our U.S expansion, no partner had been picked and no deal had been signed.

So how to solve a problem like acquiring at a moment’s notice? 

Enter: Checkout.com – one of Europe’s finest fintechs and, as luck would have it, the agile, flexible, hard-working heroes we needed to get us back up and running (in world record time, but who’s counting?)

And so, by 9:30pm on Sunday, fewer than 60 hours after we were first told Curve Cards would be suspended, we had:

  • Brought our issuing in-house (🤝 Mastercard and GPS)

  • Sourced, signed, and integrated a brand new acquiring partner (🤝 Checkout.com)

  • Onboarded and set up Settlement and Safeguarding accounts (🤝 Investec)

  • Tokenised and started testing cards (✊ engineers)

  • Got Curve back up and running with better partners, better technology, and better unit-economics (✊ everyone)

  • Mic 🎤 Drop.

When the going gets tough….

We are so proud of our team here at Curve, and you should be too. Please know that you have invested in a very unique and resilient company. Our team has achieved what many have believed would be impossible in the last two days. We are strong, we are united, we are agile, and we are... exhausted, but forward we go. We hope that we've proven to you and our customers the true value of being an over-the-top banking platform.

 And whilst we are on the subject of our customers... Wow. The support from them has been truly overwhelming. We’ve had messages, tweets, DMs and a wave of public support like no other in our history – fuelling the team and keeping us going as we continue furiously down the path to get Curve back online.

The best companies often grow out of the toughest situations and although this has been one of the most testing times in our history, we have grown a hell of a lot in just a few days. Curve is stronger, confident, more cost-efficient and in a better position to build, innovate and scale for the future. 

 What next…

We have a clear plan of action and we’re executing it well - we have remained fully focussed on getting our service back up and running for our customers. Last night we delivered the news that our customers have been waiting for – bringing Curve cards back online with Customers able to make purchases again from today. 

There are still a couple of creases to iron out. Go Back In Time, Curve’s famous, patent-pending groundbreaking feature, won’t be available just yet. It also won’t be possible to use Curve Send to send money between friends and family. But, after what has only been a short disruption of 59 hours and 30 minutes, people will be back to spending with their Curve as usual -- both in-store and online, with physical cards or through Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay. And well, we’re delighted.

To paraphrase a famous bank, we are not just a fintech, we are part of something much much bigger.

Shachar Bialick

CEO and Founder, Curve

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Curve OS Ltd, registered in England and Wales, #09523903

Copyright - 2021 © Curve OS Limited. 

The Curve Card, the Samsung Pay+ and the E-money related to these cards is issued in the UK by Curve OS Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to issue electronic money (firm reference number 900926). Curve OS Limited is registered in England and Wales, United Kingdom (company reference number: 09523903) and located at 15-19 Bloomsbury Way, Holborn, London, United Kingdom, WC1A 2TH. 

Curve Flex is provided in the UK by Curve Credit Limited. Curve OS Limited is an introducer appointed representative of Curve Credit Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (firm reference number 925447). Curve Credit Limited is registered in England and Wales, United Kingdom (company reference number: 12464458) and located at 15-19 Bloomsbury Way, Holborn, London, United Kingdom, WC1A 2TH.

The Curve Card and the e-money related to cards issued in the EEA is issued by Curve Europe UAB, authorised in Lithuania by the Bank of Lithuania (electronic money institution license No. 73 issued on 22 of October, 2020). The Curve Card and Samsung Pay+ are issued pursuant to license by Mastercard International Inc. Mastercard® is a registered trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Curve Europe UAB is registered in Lithuania (company reference number: 305626541) and located at Jogailos g. 9, LT-01116 Vilnius.