Starling not showing underlying merchants when spending through Curve

Hi guys,

I was wondering if you could look to change a feature? I discussed it on the phone with a member of management last month, but I made it a passing comment.

Unfortunately, my transactions with Curve will be going down now. This is because both Barclays and Starling (and I’m sure most other banks) show you spending insights. Unfortunately that means if all my spending is with Curve, which it pretty much is, I get no insight. Literally only ‘Curve’.

Attached is a screenshot to show an example. (I’ve ensured I’m comfortable sharing this, and not revealing anything I wouldn’t want to share.)

Could Curve let us know when they change this, so the underlying merchant shows? I know that’s something you said is being worked on on the phone, but for now I like how my bank shows me my transactions if I use their card.

Until this happens, it’s best to use my banks debit card, not Curve. I hope to be using you more again in the future. (And to get my investors card…!)

Joseph.

You should put it in the “Ideas” category so people can vote on it.

Moved to Ideas :slight_smile:

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Curve actually does include the original merchant in the transaction description, e.g. CRV*MERCHANT. Looks like your bank is lumping them all together under “Curve”. This is not something Curve can do anything about.

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Correct! So what OP is actually asking for is for Curve to remove the CRV*, which can already be voted for here:

With Starling, it’s awkward. It shows literally as shown “Curve” unless I go into each and every one. Starling are friendly so I’m certain they can be flirted with, but as you can see it’s really not looking good for me at the moment using Curve.

FYI, Starling don’t show ‘Crv’, for that I wouldn’t mind. Each transaction in my statement shows as ‘CURVE’. I want to see the original transaction. Unless I need to change the subject to ‘Make Starling work better with CURVE’?

Starling puts everything under the Curve category partly because each transaction (they are ‘receiving’ from Curve) starts with CRV*. Curve already ‘sends’ the original transaction to Starling, but puts ‘CRV*’ in front of it. That is actually what is partly causing this ‘problem’.

The idea I gave the link to is asking Curve to ‘send’ the original transaction in the same way as GooglePay/Apple Pay/PayPal is doing, this would actually solve your problem, because Curve wouldn’t show as the merchant anymore.

We can vote for that but it won’t happen because Curve is the merchant so they need to include their identifier in the billing descriptor.

IMHO, the best OP can do is ask their bank to improve their app. Clearly they (the bank) are trying to be smart and post-process billing descriptors and they are able to identify Curve transactions. They should go one step further and capture the dynamic part of the descriptor (after the asterisk).

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Agree. Most of my ‘banks’ know how to process, show and categorize Curve transactions (that is remove the CRV* part and/or put the transaction in the right spending category), though most of them are FinTechs.

I think the prefix was included so that customers know how the money was spent and this may reduce questions about the transaction. Plus, from your banks’ POV, curve happens to be the merchant. Some banks (Monzo for example) skip the curve prefix and display on the final merchant’s name in their apps.

I don’t think Curve have much choice - it’s just like Paypal have to prefix their transactions with that too. Sounds like it would be better to speak to Starling about how they display them in their app.

One way curve might be able to show the payment, so when I go to tesco regardless of bank in curves options when you set card up
Sort code 00 00 00
Acc no 11 22 33 44
Name madem nobody
Bank name ----'xxxx------
Then choose where the CRV shows on the banks statement before shop or after so:
CRV,Tesco. Or. Tesco,CRV
It’s only to how we paid for the item.

Having spoken with Anne, Starling’s CEO, some time ago about this, it seems both parties are ‘to blame’ if you like.

The way Curve send the transactions, perhaps it is the CRV* bit, perhaps it is something else, badly screwed up Starling’s merchant enrichment to the point where sometimes, as a random example an Amazon transaction would show as Amazon, sometimes as Curve, or sometimes would show as entirely different merchants, or stores in different locations, or not show as either Curve or the merchant and just show the full merchant string.

After a number of us complained about this Starling investigated and I think spoke to Curve too, and after asking their community forum and various customers decided that the best thing to do was to override the data and label everything CRV* just as Curve, with the Curve branding, which is what you’re seeing, so that at least if you purchase at Amazon using your Curve card you will know it’s Curve, and not wonder why youve got a transaction for Miss Lin’s Peking or Jamba Juice West Hollywood when you have been nowhere near those outlets.

I would assume the issue, whatever it was, basically wasn’t fixable, in the short to medium term at least, so that is how it has stayed. Tbh Starling’s advice is to do exactly what you said; use the card direct if you want the spending insights etc, and they seem to realise that’s not the perfect solution, but it’s the best they could suggest. It seems to work perfectly well with things like Ebay, Paypal, izettle etc who do the same format “Prefix*merchant” merchant string, so it does seem to be specific to Curve.

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I had a message exchange with Starling on this topic, when ALL my Curve transactions were categorised as “online” regardless of the actual transaction information pushed from Curve to Starling.

Starling essentially said they had no plans to do anything about it.

Every other back-end card I’ve used with Curve has not had this issue.

Sadly, it has pretty much stopped me using my Curve card.