Amex Blocks Curve in Anti-Competitive Move


What does that have to do with anything? Are you just throwing random stuff? Your point?

Even if amex is the only issuer of amex cards (they aren’t and I have a card that proves just that) they still have to provide a level playing field to merchants when acting as a payment system provider

I won’t even mention how silly it is to quote headforpoints. The guy gets more stuff wrong than right… Not much of a credible source

I’ll once again just paste my original comment, it’s everything in there:

“As an issuer amex may have an argument to block the cards they issue from certain transactions, but as a payment scheme they have to ensure a level playing field not only for merchants but also for other amex issuing banks”


I’m assuming Curve is correct and they didn’t violate the merchant agreement. If so, amex could only block their issued cards from sending payments to Curve, but couldn’t block curve from using the amex payment network

I don’t think this is hard at all to understand 🤷


@megamaster I think it must be tolerably clear that, if there even was a merchant agreement, Amex considers that Curve breached it and that is the reason for termination. Curve may contend that it did not, I suppose, but Amex still gets to terminate the merchant agreement on 14 days’ notice and is under no obligation to enter into a new one.

The reason I posted the HfP article is that it discusses, in detail, why Amex has terminated, or will terminate, third party issuance licences in the EU.

I think there have been enough submissions now: I will not be replying more.


You just make a hot mess of everything and try to throw entirely different topics into the same argument. Some people just cannot be helped I guess. Your last post is completely unrelated from previous ones, but happy you finally at least agree amex the card issuer is not the same as amex the payment system provider that has merchant relationships.

You started out not understanding that important point


Hey folks, any chance you might dial it down a touch? It doesn’t make for a positive experience when exchanges like this occur.

I may be alone, but what looks like a p**sing contest is hardly edifying.


A spirited conversation maybe, but I see no harm done, tough I agree it’s hard to have an edifying conversation when other people come in with pre conceived notions that are immune to facts and logic. I’m done talking to walls, don’t worry😉

When people don’t know the basic that in regulatory terms a payment network is separate from a card issuer and a payment network has to provide an equal playing field to merchants, it’s hard to evolve the conversation past that


@manu and I have been attempting to explain that Amex works entirely differently than Mastercard and Visa as a payment network.

I fear these misunderstandings are the reason why Curve is in this terrible mess. Given the merchant account termination conditions of s7 and Curve’s silence, I wonder if there is a more fundamental problem with Curve?


I am not a lawyer and I don’t operate in EU zone. My comments are based on my experience and understanding about FinTech

Going by the argument that Amex is used as a payment system and not a merchant,

A lot of fact checks need to be done. First - EU never made a Payments LAW / Regulation. What EU did is create a Directive.

A directive is NOT a law but a governance schemes that It wants all member states to abide but it is NOT a Law.

EU proposed the directives and UK agreed to add it to its law and thus the law was made called as Payment Services Regulations 2017 which come into UK law from 13 January 2018.

PSR 2017 is governed by Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) which is a UK statutory body under the treasury. PSR does not consider Amex as a payment system as of today.

Further, quoting

For schemes covered by the new regulations, we will enforce the requirements on the schemes and banks to treat PSPs’ access requests in a proportionate, objective and non-discriminatory way (POND), and not to restrict access any more than necessary to safeguard against risks to the scheme/bank or the financial system. Payment system operators and banks can still choose which organisations they will provide access to, but they must consider each request on its own merits.

Also, the payment system can reject any request which it deems to pose a risk.

Essentially, IMHO (i may be wrong) - its a difficult ask for Curve to force Amex.

Regardless, Let’s wait for Shachar’s blog post. He assured a post today (via Twitter) but its already midnight. I am still hoping it will not end up as just another promise that’s not adhered to.

I rest my case.


When a topic gets heated, it’s a short step to getting personal. Perhaps you three main contributors enjoyed the cut and thrust, but it isn’t easy for any to join such a thread.

In most senses, I’d say the forum guidelines have been breached. They’re there for a good reason.

That’s my six-pennyworth. But I’m no moderator.


I agree - can folks perhaps just agree to disagree on this particular discussion?


I agree, and although American Express does not licence any new issuance of cards from third-party banks, these are still active and in circulation around the EU.

AmEx has the complete right to block Curve transactions from the cards they issue themselves, but not from cards issued by other banks (for example Millennium, here in Portugal). American Express is both the issuer and network in the UK, but that is not the case in other countries, where they were just the network like VISA or MC.


@ilyas Amex only ever was enabled (for less than a day) in the UK (or, to be exact, Metal cards were only available in the UK with uncapped Amex). The discussion is quite fundamental. In any case, I imagine Curve is toast after this, if not already, so our discussions will soon be taken down.


Exactly, when Curve receives payments from Amex cardholders it is connecting to the global payment network, not just the half dozen cards Amex UK issues


So in short to summarize everything, AmEx sucks :smiley:


@Lucas True to form. Perhaps Curve sucks: I suspect each party would contend this of the other in the disagreement.

The true point is that no-one knows what is going on and we should wait to hear.


I don’t see how that is in any way related? Curve has existed for three years now and not only because a small % wants to use their AmEx cards. Others use them for the 1% fx fee, which is much better than many banks around the EU as to my knowledge.

I personally and many I know enjoy Curve for these reasons and more (namely the immediate notifications on spending & insights), without caring about AmEx support. IMO, the small % of Curve users represented in this forum probably most want AmEx support, but don’t represent Curve as a service in general.


Agreed :joy: any surprise there?


I’ve always found it weird that Curve would devote so many resources to Amex support. Curve’s focus should be on expanding its user base and that is most easily done by getting new users where they have the least (continental Europe), so with Amex pulling out of most markets amex support is not the best growth driver


I don’t disagree. Tbh I love curve as a service and they were really innovative. I love fintech and thus i tend to involve in constructive discussions (I also learned a lot)

Wrt your comment - lets focus on the following…

a) The public BETA was rushed - as in rushed to the core. Why was it so rushed if Amex was not a game changer wrt their expansion plan.

b) If you recollect - the third (closed beta) was opened on 26th or so and on 27th late afternoon - the public beta app was out - why run a closed beta a day before public beta ?? That hints that curve never intended to launch public beta soon - but something triggered that decision. And they went live.

Maybe they got a wind that Amex was about to pull out. I don’t know - but it always surprised me.

c) Curve has been trying to close Series B from Sept 2018. Its been 5 months and the round is not yet closed.

I believe there was a huge investor pressure to either get more signups or get more revenue to get the books ready for closing the deal…


Aha. It’s not just me then :face_with_raised_eyebrow:. Totally with you there. It really has felt like the tail has been wagging the dog.

I understand that Amex is important to many, but surely not to the extent that it’s skewed the whole Curve strategy. Newbies would be forgiven thinking “Curve is Amex is Curve”. Curve is so much more than that.