The Fintech Effect

Fintech start-up Curve adds cloud-based accounting software to its app to simplify expenses

Key Points
  • Curve adds online accounting software developer Xero to its app this week
  • Its new feature allows users to claim business expenses across multiple bank cards
  • The start-up believes it could allow businesses to contribute £7.2 billion ($9.6 billion) more to the U.K. economy
Fintech start-up Curve has a new feature that allows businesses to save money by automating expenses accounting.

Fintech start-up Curve will now let users claim business expenses across multiple bank cards through its app.

The London-based firm's app allows its users to link all of their bank cards to one contactless MasterCard. Curve said it hopes to automate the tedious process and remove any friction associated with business expenses. It is predominantly targeted at small business owners and the self-employed.

Curve said Monday it would add online accounting software developer Xero to the app, meaning users will now be able to claim business spending across all their accounts.

"Everyone hates doing their expenses. It's a tedious, manual job that takes up too much time. But it doesn't have to be that way. Now, Curve will do the job for you, regardless of the bank you use," Arthur Leung, product lead at Curve, announced Monday.

"Instead of wasting one day a month on business expenses admin, just connect your cards to a Xero account through the Curve app, and Curve will do your expenses for you. It's effortless."

CEO Schachar Bialick envisages a simplified, joined-up financial world whereby customers can do most of their finances on their phone.

"There is a host of money services and products that are completely fragmented, they're disconnected from each other. Now if you look at the kind of customer experiences today from different verticals, you will find that the experience we're expecting today is that of convergence," he told CNBC in an interview last week.

"One layer of experience which is across all my music, Spotify; one layer of experience which is across TV, Netflix; one layer of experience which is across transportation - it doesn't matter which country I am in - I can open the Uber app and hail a taxi and it will come and the price will be more or less the same. So the experience we're aiming for is a new experience where everything is converged into one place."

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In July the company raised $10 million in a Series A funding round - the first significant stage of venture capital investment - which included the venture arm of Spanish lender Santander.

This followed the introduction of Curve's financial "time travel" feature, which allows users to switch the card they used for a transaction within 14 days after the purchase.

Curve claims to have more than 75,000 sign-ups to its app, and that users have spent £70 million ($93.6 million) in 100 different countries.

How does it work?

Curve's latest feature will enable users to claim spending on all their accounts. Users categorize their bank cards into business spending and personal spending.

Customers can then choose which account to purchase with. If they spend on the wrong account, they are able to reverse the decision and pay on the right card using the app's "Go Back In Time" feature.

After a purchase is made, data are sent straight to Xero's cloud-based accounting software. Users then photograph their receipt, which is also sent directly to Xero.

This removes the need for entering any information needed by the U.K.'s tax watchdog HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs).

How fintech is affecting banks

The feature is intended to save both businesses and accountants time which is normally spent on manual data entry.

In fact, Curve believes it could allow businesses to contribute £7.2 billion ($9.6 billion) more to the U.K. economy. Using analysis from Curve user feedback along with OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and IMF (International Monetary Fund) data, the firm said small businesses could make huge savings with the technology.

"Our new partnership with Curve makes managing your business spending even easier, freeing up time that can be spent on growing your business instead," Edward Berks, director of financial web and ecosystem at Xero, said in an announcement Monday.

"And since it reduces manual data entry, reconciliation and human error as a result, our accounting and bookkeeping community will benefit too."