App review: Curve
I recently heard Shachar Bialick — Founder and CEO of Curve — talk about how the new Curve app will make it easier for small businesses to manage their financial lives. It prompted me to have a first play with the Curve app in iOS, which is currently available as a Beta release. This is what I learned:
- My quick summary of Curve (before using it) — I expect Curve to be able to aggregate all my (business0 credit and debit cards — and related account / transaction data — into a single place.
- How does Curve explain itself in the first minute? — When I open the Curve app, I’m presented with two key messages: “Welcome to Connected Money” followed by “Curve combines all your cards into one smart card and smart app”. When reading these messages, “data” is the first thing that comes to mind. How will Curve combine and display all my bank data into a single place (and in way that lets me understand at a glance what’s going on)?
- Getting started, what’s the process like (2)? — The screen which shows me the different Curve packages to chose from is great. It’s a clear overview, no frills (see Fig. 4). However, I’m unsure whether I’ve got sufficient data or information to decide which package is most appropriate for me. Also, can I switch from one package to another? If so, how easy is that?
- Getting started, what’s the process like (3)? — From providing more detail about my business to entering my card, the user experience feels very seamless and intuitive. I did, however, wonder why I did not need to enter then name of my business after stating that I’m a business owner. I expected some link to the Companies House details of my business, similar to Tide Bank’s onboarding process. Overall, the Curve app does a good job in trying to keep the onboarding process as simple as possible and the process of adding my first card feels straightforward too (see Fig. 5–6).
- Getting started, what’s the process like (4)? — The messaging around the card verification process is ok, but I’m nevertheless not entirely as to why my card issuer needs to provide security and I’m unsure as to how long this will take (see Fig. 7). I wonder what I can (not) do whilst I am waiting for my card to be verified? Will I need to go through a similar process when I enter an additional card that has been issued by the same provider?
- Getting started, what’s the process like (5)? — I’m massively intrigued by Curve’s new “Go Back in Time” feature (see Fig. 8). Curve lets its users swap purchases paid on one card to another. It lets users select the purchase(s) that they want change the payment method for. By tapping “Go Back in Time” under “Transaction Features” to bring up the menu, users can choose their preferred card for that purchase. This feature is available for any purchase under £1,000 with the Curve Mastercard within 14 days from purchase. I’m not 100% sure how long Curve will be able to hold one to this feature, as I can imagine the different credit card schemes getting up in arms about e.g. delayed payments or not being able to recoup initial payment transaction costs.
- Did Curve deliver on my expectations? — Yes. Although I haven’t yet been able to add multiple cards and see a combined view of transaction data for those different cards, Curve does a great job at explaining the onboarding process at every step of the way and uses some simple, but nice UX practices along the journey.
Fig. 1 — Screenshot of Curve’s iOS opening screen
Fig. 3 — Screenshots of Curve’s sign in process
Fig. 4 — Screenshot of ‘Which Curve are you?’ screen on Curve iOS
Fig. 5 — Information to enter during the onboarding process on Curve’s iOS app
Fig. 6 — Adding my first card in the Curve iOS app
Fig. 7 — Card verification steps on Curve’s iOS app
Fig. 8 — Welcome screen and Curve’s ‘Go Back in Time’ feature
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