I traveled outside Europe and therefore my account was closed

Hello.

I am a citizen of Poland and have been using Curve card outside of Europe, precisely out of EEA countries, during my travels for some time now. Recently my account has been closed with a vague explanation that I need to live, I assume - presently, in one of the EEA countries. Having a residency or citizenship seems to be not sufficient. In my understanding of this situation, using Curve card is only allowed in EEA countries, not outside of it.
Can somebody from Curve team can shed some light on this case? I contacted customer care, but their answer revolve around the term ‘reside’, which they interpret differently than me and it doesn’t lead anywhere.
I am staying outside EEA now since end of January - if that is important.

Regards

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Hey @fel, welcome to the community!

Sad to hear your account has been closed.

Looking at Curve’s TOS, it seems like Curve is limited to countries in the EEA: https://support.imaginecurve.com/hc/en-gb/articles/213342769-Who-can-get-Curve-

and specifically, your first payment card needs to belong to a country within the ‘eligible’ list.

Is your Curve card still linked to your Polish card?

Yes. I have two Polish cards linked under Curve app. One of them since my registration, over a year ago.

Ok - take a look at the ‘Spending abroad with Curve’ section here: https://support.imaginecurve.com/hc/en-gb/articles/115005761905-Are-there-any-fees-associated-with-using-Curve-

Have you hit any of those limits?

Yes, once with withdrawal, but it was more than half a year ago.
How could fee structure be related to the situation?

A question to other users: have you came across similar situation?
The scenario was, that around two weeks ago my card was locked by Curve, then I was asked to send photo of my passport for the verification, which I did. After that I was asked about a photo of any recent utility bill or a letter from a government office to prove that I reside within EEA. I did not submit it and replied that presently I am outside of EEA. Then I received a message, that my account is being closed.

Right, I am withdrawing money when I am away, sometimes right under 200 EUR, to not to meet the standard plan limit.
Could this be the reason of closing my account? I mean, that this may not be a good business for Curve.

Well then it’s pretty straightforward… you’re not living inside the EEA, so your account was closed… If you were simply traveling outside the EEA you’d have no problem… it has nothing to do with the fact that you’re withdrawing just shy of €200… I’m sure you can re-open/open a new account when you once again live within the EEA.

Why did curve send the card in the first place?

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I mean, the T&Cs are clear but this is something I worry about. I travel extensively for a large part of the year and am currently trapped away from home thanks to COVID-19.

Luckily though I still have utilities etc to show my residency at home so, at least they did ask before blocking.

@fel you didn’t tell us if your residency is in Poland. Citizenship and residency are two different things. Residency is the country where you normally live and therefore pay taxes.
And what really matter to Curve is your residency. Because Curve licenses cover EU residents.

Travelling of course is not an issue. But if you live (or move) abroad and settle outside of EU, you are breaking Curve T&Cs. And that’s because Curve has the necessary licenses to operate in EU. At some stages you are normally required to verify your home address, failing to do so gives all the reasons for Curve to close your account. It doesn’t really matter where you use your card, of course is meant to be used abroad.

I contacted customer care, but their answer revolve around the term ‘reside’, which they interpret differently than me and it doesn’t lead anywhere.

It’s not really something open to interpretations… You either normally live and reside in EU or not…

I normally live in Poland and pay taxes there, not any other country. This hasn’t change.
Maybe I didn’t made it clear to customer support, I am going to talk to them again and see what changes.

I check transaction history and the initially blocked my account and asked for verification after 1,5 month of being abroad.

But you literally just said you couldn’t provide them a utility bill, cause you don’t live in Poland at the moment…

It is getting a bit absurd.
When I go abroad I don’t take utility bills with me.

I stay abroad for three months, but I haven’t moved (settled) here, and my status of resident of Poland hasn’t been revoked.

And about being a resident, which I understand means having a formal resident status and to reside in a country, are not equivalent to me. One can reside in a country without having a resident status there.

As I wrote before, I will try to clear it with Curve support and get back with closure hopefully.

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Its not that uncommon that ppl just take a break and live elsewhere for year or more or simply choose digital nomads lifestyle. Its their choice.

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Ahh, I guess I am just too used to live in a digitised country… all my utility bills are sent through the national E-message system. I haven’t received an old fashioned bill for +5 years.

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You’re lucky on that one. They blocked me then are requiring me to get the documents. They wouldn’t take my lease agreement since it’s not recent, yet valid, and my flat mates have the utilities under their name. And, yes, now I’m stranded in the USA while COVID19 reigns. Unbelievable. They said they’d reopen it once I’m back as if that’s a consolation prize for me believing that I should truly replace all my cards for Curve. I’ve only been saved as my flat mate got into my locked bedroom, and sent me my only Apple Pay enabled card picture to remotely add to Apple Pay.
Curve really has no heart, and I’m still unsure how this is just during the pandemic, or else, while I’m still paying for rent in Southampton.
Anyone know how I could file a complaint for Curve essentially wrecking my travel without warning during a global pandemic?

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I mean, I do have a Mobile bill and credit card statements from home so I’m not sure if that would matter. At the end of the day, regulations are regulations and I suppose someone has to make the choice whether it’s worth a fine to help someone. It would be nice if there could at least be some notice given though.

I totally agree with ! I’m French, i live in France, but when sometime i have a mission for a client out from EU i cannot come back at home every week-end and i rent an apartment on place. That means i live for 3 or four months in morocco ( example…) and all my fees and shopping and fuel and restaurants are located in morocco ( example…) during that period. That doesn’t mean i’m morocco resident and my Curve card doesn’t have to be locked. Pat

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Sorry to read about your situation. I do believe Curve can be flexible due to circumstances and the fact they still allowed you to have a curve card in the first place.

Just as suggestion you can or should be able to get in touch with as utility provider or such and usually they will email a copy of the most recent bill to you.

Again it does seem very low ball how Curve are acting.

Hope you get it all fully resolved.

Kind regards

Lee

To my mind you should not have had this happen. It does partly seem like a communication error and also Curve once again not being reasonable without asking the right questions to you so they are fully clear of your residential circumstances.

Hope you get it sorted.

Regards

Lee