Just 36 hours after American Express UK cardholders were told they could start spending on their accounts through all-in-one-card wallet Curve, the US payments giant has frozen them out.
Incensed customers took to Twitter – some to warn they would be cancelling their Amex cards until the company reinstated its facility with the UK fintech.
Earlier in the week they’d given an ecstatic welcome to news that Amex would be available – many even paying to upgrade their Curve membership to access the maximum £1,000 a month top-up from Amex without fees. By the time Amex suspended the service, they’d already racked up £1million spending on their Amex accounts.
Curve, which is technically still in Beta mode, aggregates multiple payment cards through a mobile app, allowing a user to make payments and withdrawals from a single Curve Mastercard. Its mission statement is ‘to Free Your Money by simplifying and unifying the way you spend, send, see and save’.
Curve responded defiantly to the Amex move, accusing it of flouting UK payment regulations which, it claimed ‘clearly state that Curve should be allowed to access the Amex payment network on a level-playing field with every other fee-paying and legitimate merchant’. It vowed to ‘fight the decision with our full might’.
The company said Amex had given ‘no good or fair reason for their decision and we believe it is entirely disproportionate and discriminatory’.
Later on the day, Curve shared the official statement: “Last Monday morning, Curve announced the addition of American Express support for users of our platform in an open Beta test. The announcement was made based on a merchant agreement we had with American Express to accept Amex card payments into our e-wallet. American Express decided to terminate this agreement on Tuesday evening.
We regret that American Express has deemed it necessary to take this action and we do not agree with their decision. However, Curve customers can rest assured that they can still spend any funds they may have already topped up in their existing Amex Wallets. While there may be a delay in replying, we will endeavour to respond to all our customers who have contacted us for support.
We believe financial freedom is the future and we will continue in our mission to deliver a truly innovative product that can make that future a reality today“
Amex have said:
“American Express participated in a limited Curve beta test where we enabled a small number of Card Members to load funds onto an e-wallet using their Amex Card in the Curve app. Following this beta test we informed Curve that we would not participate in the further roll out of the Curve e-wallet.”
“We want Amex Everywhere” Shachar Bialick, CEO of Curve replied “Free Our Money”
Stuart Thomas, from Stu’s reviews commented “It feels like the senators have stabbed Caesar in the back. Here’s Curve trying to unite our wallets, whilst companies like Amex, have a smile on their face yet their fingers crossed behind their backs. For what would appear to be no reason whatsoever, I’m with Curve on this one”