It seems you have the source of your issue right there. If you’re using a card issued outside Europe the transaction probably takes longer to authorise and when you add a bit more delay from using Curve it times out. I don’t think Curve would want to encourage or focus on the use of cards issued outside the EEA
From our Product Roadmap:
“Pay in instalments after your purchase. Select the transaction and define the frequency and instalments for your payments. The transaction amount will be refunded to your account and your card will be charged automatically every payment period.”
The main issue with why I think a credit buffer is not that useful is that it is a complicated way of solving a simple issue of a transaction failure. Even if the buffer was hidden away and only offered to customers with outstanding credit scores and back up cards to pay with. They can even add all the fees that they want with it but, it does not change the fact a failed transaction, like the one you’ve described can be solved by switching to a card issued from a different provider in the app.
You have also acknowledged this solution in your original post but, then went on to say it would be too stressful as it would increase other people queue times. Whilst it is very nice of you to think about the impact on other people if your card declines, the time it takes to change cards, for me at least, is about 10 seconds. This is an insignificant amount of time. Which? had done a study that looked at the average queue times at some of the most popular supermarkets, they found an average queue time at Tesco, the fastest of the shops they tested, was 167 seconds. This means that simply pulling your phone out and switching the card will only increase the waiting time by about 6% and this is at the fastest store. ASDA, which was the slowest with a average wait time of 292 seconds, will only be a 3% increase. Most people wouldn’t even notice or care so there is no need to be stressed. If its embarrassment that you are worried about you can always use the automated tills, this eliminates both the stress and embarrassment that may come with a failed transaction. At automated checkouts you don’t have to worry about people queuing behind you as if you are taking a slightly above average time there will always be another kiosk available for the other shoppers.
In the event that the shop you are visiting does not have automated tills you can still simply and quickly just switch cards which is far more efficient than implementing a credit buffer system.
This all depends on the app functions as intended and in that department they can definitely improve. As you said,
And i fully agree with this, the app can definitely use more features such as, the Curve Credit instalment scheme that Marie has linked above. However, a credit buffer is not one of those things that has a high likelihood of being implemented.
I’d be against this. I’d rather use my credit score and limit for cards that offer me something. A short term 0% interest “just in case” buffer isn’t something that offers me anything.
If I need that I’d just use my credit card… Which I’m using via curve. Which I’ve not had an issue with using. So this appears to be a solution hunting for a problem.
This is an ideas forum and you are right to raise something you feel is of value to you.
That said I personally wouldn’t want that as the entire point is transparency. There are already times when a transaction is processed offline and debits your card later so there is a process there which meets some of your request anyway.
I like the idea of a back up card or even a cascaded tier so it tries your cards in order of preference that you can set up but the transaction time would increase and potentially time out.
I know timeouts would be difficult to handle on this (if Curve tries to charge my usual Mastercard, but that card times out, Curve is now out of time to reply, so the transaction has already failed), and providing credit themselves could be problematic as others have pointed out - but what about the option to put an authorisation on a backup card in advance? Hold, say, a £100 auth against one of my cards - then, for anything up to £100, Curve can approve the transaction without waiting for the transaction to complete against the backend card selected, safe in the knowledge they have £100 already authorised.
(I did have two unexplained declines last month in the USA, which never showed up in the app - the first one might just have been an auto-topup or beta issue, since I was using my Amex wallet at the time, but it was frustrating and embarrassing … and $5 of coffee in Starbucks really shouldn’t have failed against my Mastercard!)
I actually have thought about this before, but did not mention it because a pre-auth can only last for a limited number of days, and then it will expire and get cancelled automatically. So Curve would have to repeat the pre-auth process whenever the existing pre-auth is expired (or when the Curve card is being used again in case of a dormant account). Maybe it’s doable, and judge by the number of people opposites the idea of a credit based system, this could be another way out.