Curve Tests Buy Now, Pay Later Credit Feature

The fintech is preparing to launch its own credit functionality, allowing users to buy now and pay later and even reallocate previously designated funds.

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Need to Know 

  • FIntech Curve is working on a new feature that will allow users to buy now and pay later (BNPL).
  • Curve Credit will integrate with existing banking cards and provide even more access to credit and payment deferral options.
  • Users can “go back in time” to reallocate funds to switch payment cards or pay in installments.
  • The banking app hopes Curve Credit will compete with BNPL platforms like Klarna.

Analysis 

Banking platform Curve has begun testing its new offering, Curve Credit, a supposed rival to the “buy now, pay later” apps currently taking the payments world by storm. 

Curve, a banking app that allows you to consolidate all of your banking and credit cards into a single card and app, is now testing its own credit function. Curve Credit offers credit on purchases made with your Curve card to be paid back over time in installments. 

As opposed to emerging consumer credit tools like Klarna or Afterpay, Curve’s credit offering doesn’t partner with merchants at checkout, but rather allows Curve customers to access credit by paying with their Curve debit card at checkout. 

Interestingly, the Curve Credit tool is equipped with “Go Back in Time” technology that allows a user to “retroactively switch the underlying bank account/card used to pay.” So instead of Curve routing a transaction from your regular chequing account, it can be redirected to Curve Credit instead, where you can choose to pay in installments.

“Customers can shop with any merchant, using any underlying funding card they choose, and we will allow them either immediately or at their leisure to ‘go back in time’ and split the purchase into instalments,” explained Paul Harrald, the head of Curve Credit. 

Unlike Klarna and other BNPL apps, Curve Credit will likely charge interest, though it is currently interest-free while in testing. Users can also split payments across multiple “cards” when using Curve.  

Buy now, pay later apps are cropping up worldwide as a preferred payment method for online shopping. Over 85 million users in 17 countries are shopping with Klarna alone, and competitors like Afterpay and Splitit are also on the rise. 

Even Apple has launched its own interest-free payment tool for iPhone purchases, with plans to expand the program and include more of the tech giant’s popular gadgets. 

There are currently over 200 Curve users on a waitlist to try the new feature, pending approval from the Financial Conduct Authority.

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