By Roger Baird on Wednesday 30 January 2019
The fintech start up said American Express has ‘discriminated’ against it.
American Express has blocked attempts by Curve to load its cards into the start ups all-in-one wallet, less than two days after the deal was announced.
Curve customers will be able to load their Amex cards onto the UK start up’s app and spend on its own-brand smart card, as part of final-stage Beta testing, the fintech business said on Monday.
The London-based firm hit back saying it had a “valid merchant agreement” with the giant US charge card business. It called the move “discriminatory” and vowed to fight the decision “with our full might”.
However, Amex said that while it took part in early testing with Curve, it told the fintech firm it was not interested in a wider roll out of the service.
“American Express participated in a limited Curve beta test where we enabled a small number of card members to load funds onto an e-wallet using their Amex Card in the Curve app,” Amex said in a statement.
Curve also said that its customers can still spend any cash they have already topped up in their existing Amex e-wallets.
However, Amex’s decision will come as a blow to the launch of Curve’s new premium Metal card, which comes with a range of benefits such as travel and gadget insurance and airport lounge access to be added soon. But the £14.99 a month card prominently advertises the unlimited use of Amex as a key feature. The high-end card currently runs with a banner saying: “Amex functionality is suspended for reasons beyond our control.”
On Monday, Bialick said he was “thrilled” about the Amex tie-up, adding the deal was “another important step on our journey”.