Exchange rate in relation to ECB rate

Regulation (EU) 2019/518 requires card issuers to display

the total currency conversion charges as a percentage mark-up over the latest available euro foreign exchange reference rates issued by the European Central Bank (ECB). That mark-up shall be disclosed to the payer prior to the initiation of the payment transaction.

Where can I see that for Curve? Especially for weekend transactions?

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Thank you for digging this up! I’ve said this is bad practice repeatedly and Curve are just ignoring it.

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It’s in their terms & conditions (see the fee tables at the bottom).

Of course it would be better if we could see in the app if the weekend markup is active and/or if we are under/over the monthly free FX limit on the blue card.

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Nah, the “Standard Exchange Rate” which is used for calculating the fees is

  • 15.3. The “Exchange Rate” means: Standard Exchange Rate or Weekend Exchange Rate, as applicable. The Standard Exchange Rate means a wholesale rate that is sourced from Currency Layer. Currency Layer uses a very broad base of commercial sources and banks around the world.

which is clearly not ECB.

Yes but do you know of any card that uses the ECB rate as a base? Most use the daily Mastercard or Visa rate and a small number of fintechs (like Curve, Revolut, Transferwise) use alternative sources like Currency Layer, Morningstar etc. Also most cards will only determine the rate when the transaction posts, usually 1-2 business days later, so you never know exactly what rate you’ll get.

But the idea of the legislation quoted above seems to be more that all cards give a percentage of how far they deviate from the ECB rate, not that the card has to offer it. Plus as it’s a percentage it doesn’t matter re the live rate as presumably it’s meant to be a figure that helps you compare between cards?

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But have you ever seen any card publish such a thing? I haven’t.

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If you read the legislation, the clause quoted only came into effect on the 19th April 2020.

What is clear is that this new legislation is inline with what a lot of people here have been arguing all along - what Curve currently does is misleading, and bad practice to the point it has been made illegal.

So, Curve - will you do better?

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And Monzo have just switched this on - specifically showing the markup of the Mastercard mid-market rate over ECB.

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Monzo can be seen here

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Round of applause for Monzo for transparency here!

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New curve user here, travel a lot for work. I want to know whether I can trust Curve to get the best possible exchange rate but it just raises too many questions - no transparency over what they’re charging or the rate, constantly telling me I’ve saved X (calculated as 3% of the total usually).

Can anyone put my mind at ease? Or should I just bin my curve and go back to Revolut?

What a shame if that’s the case.

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The last two times I withdrew abroad with Curve I did a cursory check to see what it would have cost on Revolut and Curve was more expensive by about 2%

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At the moment the lack of transparency makes it difficult to compare Curve to any other card, before you make the decision to use it for a given purchase. You could get a better rate but you could also get a worse rate, it’s all a lottery at the moment.

The European Central Bank publishes FX rates once per day. You can’t compare once-per-day rates with live rates that change every second.

If you want a free-of-charge public domain source of live market rates, as an FX professional I have tested the rates at https://www.truefx.com/streaming-market-data-truefx/ and compared them to wholesale FX market venues. Their rates come from a liquidity aggregator that they supply to the wholesale FX market, and they are extremely accurate and not delayed. Their iPhone app, although very old with many bugs, supports more currency pairs than their public web site.

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