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The Future of Curve in Europe

By Esther Faber06 Nov 2020

31st December 2020: The date that we’d no longer have the right to serve our European customers if we didn’t take significant actions. Spoiler: we did. And we’re thrilled to announce we're the proud owners of a European EMI licence (shout out to the Bank of Lithuania).

Fear not European customers, the Curve app and your Curve card will continue to work in exactly the same way. But for some of our small business customers, and those who haven’t completed documents and selfie checks, we may need you to supply us with more information about you and or your company. This is due to more stringent legal requirements placed on us under the Lithuanian Money Laundering legislation.

🇱🇹Why Lithuania?

The Lithuanian regulator and the Lithuanian government are on an ambitious mission to be the fintech capital of Europe post-Brexit. We love that kind of ambition, a perfect complement to our mission to be the number one go-to fintech in the world. 

Lithuania also happens to be stocked full of fintech experts, technologists and corporate back office services specialists. Which is why we’re very excited to open an office in Vilnius and grow the Curve family. 

🛣 How we ended up here

As if 2020 wasn’t turbulent enough, the demise of Wirecard UK and Wirecard Bank Germany in June 2020 (#Wirecardgate) threw our well-laid Brexit preparations out the window.

Curve had planned to bring all our UK customers under the Curve OS EMI umbrella by the end of the Brexit transition period, 31 December 2020, and to move all our European Customers from Wirecard UK to Wirecard Bank Germany as of 1 January 2021. Something that we’d already communicated to our existing customers way back in 2018. We like to be prepared! 

But following #Wirecardgate, Curve had to accelerate our plans and move all of our customers in-house   – something we’re still extremely proud of. That, and the required technical changes with our card issuer, our card processor and setting up a new acquirer all within 60 hours. 

The next step we had to take to recover from the Wirecard collapse was a little trickier. Having all our lovely European customers in-house was always going to be a short-lived solution, because at the end of the Brexit transition period, we’d lose the right to serve our European customers from our UK granted Financial Conduct Authority issued EMI Licence. Which was simply not an option.

So, we took on the task to become fully authorised as an EMI in Lithuania, with full EEA passporting permissions – by end of year.  We would like to highlight that once again, we’ve brought on some stellar partners including:  Bank of Lithuania and Ellex Valiunas who have shown they are equally motivated by the task at hand and provided us tremendous support to get this over the line so that our European customers continue with uninterrupted service.

🔜 What’s next?

We’re going on tour! So that we can continue to serve all our European customers as of 1 January 2021, we’re getting our brand shiny new European EMI licence passported into all other 30 member states.

Only once all 30 member states have confirmed that we can continue to provide the Curve card and its services in their country (under our Lithuanian EMI licence), is Curve allowed to formally advise our European customers of the proposed changes to their customer agreements. Rest assured, your Curve card and the App will continue to work as you have come to expect and love. 

So keep an eye out for an email from us in December at the latest. You'll have at least two months from when the notice is sent to let us know if you're happy with the changes we’ve made. If you're not, please get in touch and we'll be able to assist you further.

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