Nathalie Oestmann COO at Curve spoke to PaymentExpert about how the Over-The-Top banking platform is enhancing the payment sector and elevating efficiency for its customers.
PaymentExpert: Firstly, can you tell us more about Curve and how it’s evolving the payment space?
Nathalie Oestmann: Curve is an Over-The-Top banking platform that consolidates all your cards into one smart card and app. It is uniquely positioned in the fintech space because it is not a bank, rather it is a solution to people’s fragmented financial lives, enabling them to manage, spend, send see and save all their finances from one place.
Curve evolves the payment space by rebundling a fintech market, which has loads of niche players and solutions, into one straightforward app. Because of its position as an OTT banking platform, Curve has been able to build unique features such as Curve send, which allows people to send money internationally and free of charge to any other account.
Curve has also recently provided a solution to customers of Samsung Pay, Google Pay and wearables such as Fitbit, Wena and Garmin by enabling almost 100% acceptance of cards onto these platforms, which initially only had limited partnerships, allowing even more ways to pay and means even more customers can leave their wallets at home.
PaymentExpert: How significant are the partnerships with Garmin, Fitbit and Sony’s Wena pay when it comes to increasing the engagement of Curve?
Nathalie Oestmann: Partnering with three of the biggest players in the wearables space, Garmin, Fitbit and Sony, cements Curve as the ultimate way to manage all your finances in one place. It has brought Curve to many more customers who crave the convenience of Curve’s app but don’t like the hassle of carrying a wallet with them.
Whether it’s fitness fans grabbing a snack after a park run or time-savvy travellers on their commute, Curve customers who upload a card to the wearable device can now benefit from features such as 1% cashback or even transfer their purchases to another card up to two weeks later with Curve’s Go-Back-In-Time feature.
PaymentExpert: What impact has the integration of Google Pay and Samsung Pay had on the growth of Curve and what role do you believe mobile payments will play in the evolution of the sector?
Nathalie Oestmann: It’s still early days since the launch of Google Pay and Samsung Pay and we’ve seen great activity from our Curve customers with activations.
We absolutely believe that the future is bright for mobile payments as we have seen a distinct shift to the mobile payments channels once our UK customers onboarded with our android partners.
PaymentExpert: Some would argue OTT banking is a clear next step in the growth of payments, what has Curve done in order to ensure it leads this sector of the industry?
Nathalie Oestmann: Over-the-top banking is the next step in the growth of payments. It’s inevitable. One day we will have a platform to connect you to all of your money and there’s no doubt that this platform has to be agnostic about the tools you’ll be using. This is what Curve is striving for. It’s what Amazon, Whatsapp and Netflix did.
Curve’s goal is to create a platform that will allow people to rebundle and connect their financial world into one place. If you want to use your Monzo card, then use it. If you want to use your Barclays card, go for it.
As long as you have one platform, this platform with the data you allow it to have, will identify new products and services that will ultimately make you better off. This is what Curve is striving for. I don’t want you to think about your finances.
PaymentExpert: What does Curve’s deeply successful funding round say about the appetite for this type of solutions within the payment sector?
Nathalie Oestmann: Curve’s successful funding round only proves that the appetite for an over-the-top banking platform. In addition to the $55 million raised in July, Curve also became the fastest startup in history to raise £4million in 42 minutes on Crowdcube after smashing its £1m target in under five minutes.
Figures such as these, for a company that only launched to consumers two years ago, speaks volumes about what people want in the payment space.In fact, Curve’s decision to crowdfund only came following continued demand from its customers to open up an allocation of investment and give its fans the opportunity to become a key part of the company’s success.
Ultimately though, people feel like they are losing control of their finances with so many apps and solutions in the market. They want to defragment their finances and combine all their cards into one. They want to be able to see all their spending in one place.
Simply looking at transactions and balances can be stressful if you have no control. And so Curve provides the ultimate solution, giving people better tools to manage their money so they can worry about their finances less and enjoy their lives more.