Credit cards supplied by banks like HDFC or SBI have long dominated the market in India. Even now, credit cards don’t have a very large market share compared to debit cards. The criteria employed by the banks and customer mistrust play a role in this. Additionally, numerous NBFCs have partnered with Flipkart and Amazon to offer “Buy Now Pay Later” services. One such device that functions like a credit card but is also distinct in its own right is Uni Card. So, learn all details regarding Uni Card in this post-aAn in-depth analysis of India’s first pay-third card, the Uni Card, can be found here.
Uni Card- Explanation
With the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Uni 1/3rd card, you may divide your monthly spending into three equal payments that you can spread out over three months with no fees or interest. However, keep in mind that, strictly speaking, it is not a credit card. But practically speaking, it functions just like one. Furthermore, because the issued card is based on the Visa infrastructure, acceptability shouldn’t be a problem either offline or online.
Three entities are cooperating in the backdrop.
- An NBFC (Liquiloans): It provides you with a credit limit.
- RBL Bank: The card is issued by RBL Bank. It is a prepaid card, much like a gift card from a bank or a forex card that we may have formerly bought.
- Uniorbit Technologies or Uni: Uniorbit Technologies, sometimes known as Uni, is a fintech that provides the technology necessary to make everything function and provide you with a credit card experience.
It is relatively easy to apply for a Uni 1/3rd card. Download the Uni Cards app and enter some information from the Google Play store. Your card will be displayed in the app in a little while. Courier delivers the physical card in 5-7 days.
How is a Uni Card different?
A Uni card appears to function similarly to a credit card. It works equally to a “Buy Now Pay Later” credit line with a “VISA” layer on top. When we apply for a University card:
- After a credit investigation, LiquiLoans creates a loan account.
- The loan’s service platform is Uniorbit Technologies.
- SBM Bank offers “VISA” connectivity to use the loan as a prepaid card.
Together, these three facilitate utilizing this as a prepaid card.
UNI Application Experience
The Android/iOS app for the Uni Card is one of its best features. The app simplifies the application process. A credit card is quickly issued and made available in the app if you are eligible. In 3-5 days, the physical card will be delivered. The whole process lasts about 10 to 15 minutes.
The following are the main steps in the application process:
- Eligibility check: Your CRIF credit score will be checked in this case after you will recieve an email alert. Later, many people discovered an inquiry from NDXP regarding NDX P2P Private Limited/LiquiLoans on my CIBIL report.
- KYC: KYC is based on Aadhaar OTP, then a selfie is taken.
- Card Delivery Address: Updateable Card Delivery Address automatically picked to match Aadhaar.
Uni Card displays the generated credit card and the approved credit limit.
The Beta version of the Uni Card does not include a joining or annual fee for applications. According to the app, the standard joining fee is Rs 1999.
Pay 1/3rd Every Month: No Extra Charges
India’s first pay-third card is called Uni. It implies that we must pay back a third of our monthly expenses. Therefore, we receive a free three-month EMI regardless of the amount spent. If we decide to pay any spend in three installments, there are no fees. Here is an illustration of how we could divide and pay our monthly dues. You can use this option for certain transactions or the entire bill.
- Rs. 9000 spends during the first month.
- Rs. 3,000 is the first month’s bill payment.
- Rs 3,000 is the second month’s bill payment.
- Rs. 3,000 is the amount due for the third month’s bill
In The Box
Uni Card has unique packaging for a card that competes in the entry-level market. The credit card is delivered in a package that resembles the one we receive for cell phones. It comes in lovely packaging and includes the following:
- An individually engraved luggage tag bearing the cardholder’s name
- A UNI-branded mask, second. The mask is of good craftsmanship.
- A genuine Toblerone confection.
The card number is printed on the back and has a simple style.
Uni Card offers a 1% return on purchases not broken up into three equal portions. Depending on the sort of purchase. Once we decide to pay the entire amount, this is included in the statement.
It can appear more advantageous to pay a third of your balance each month on your Uni card rather than another card that offers 1% to 2% for full payment. That is not the case, though. Paying only a third leads to considerable losses even if the return on a savings account is only 4%, which is still higher than what we earn. The example below compares an Axis Ace purchase of Rs 1000 using a Uni card.
If we choose Uni over Ace, we will lose about Rs. Fifty in cashback for every Rs. 3000 purchase. A conservative estimate of the payback we receive from a purchase is 2%. Sometimes it may even be 5% or 10%!
Features on the way
There is still a beta version of Uni. As a result, the product will keep getting better over time. Some upcoming features include:
- Uni Coins: In the future, Uni Coins will serve as the primary form of payment. We can use the coins at Uni Store to get a better deal than the 1% payback we currently receive for paying in full.
- Extended EMI terms with no fees for 30 days: The Pay 1/3 function already offers EMI. Plans for 6, 9, 12, and 18+ month EMIs are forthcoming.
Some shortcomings of Uni 1/3rd Card
The Uni 1/3rd card has a few drawbacks, which are listed below.
- No reward points: If you choose a three-month EMI with your Uni Card, you will not receive any reward points. The 1% reward rate is excessively low, even when paid in full. Many claims that using credit cards wisely can result in returns of greater than 5%, and frequently even 8–10%. In addition to 1% cash back, the Uni card app mentions the impending introduction of Uni coins as a rewards currency. Hopefully, they are not additional Cred coins.
- No wallet load: It is impossible to add funds to a digital wallet using a Uni 1/3rd card. It eliminates the numerous cashbacks and discounts you can obtain when using wallets to make payments. Customer service at Uni has acknowledged the problem and stated that it is being addressed as soon as possible. Let’s hope it happens very soon. But for now, this is still a problem.
- No foreign exchange: You cannot use it to purchase foreign exchange. As a result, you cannot use your Uni 1/3rd card online or while traveling abroad.
- No cash withdrawals: A Uni card cannot be used to withdraw cash from an ATM.
No 6, 9, or 12-month EMI product is available now: This option is not yet available because the Uni 1/3rd card is still in the beta stage. They are working to make these choices available.
- Customer issues may take longer to resolve: NBFC, card issuer bank, and fintech are the three firms participating in this arrangement instead of just a bank with credit cards. Some customer issues could require more time to handle than others.
Who should apply for this card?
If you’ve read thus far, you’re probably aware that the Uni 1/3rd card is not a substitute for credit cards. However, the Uni 1/3rd card will undoubtedly be valuable to someone who values liquidity above all else. Additionally, a person who has not yet been successful in obtaining a credit card may apply for this product. Additionally, a Uni card is an option for someone who is not interested in the game of points and miles but only wants a credit product for the convenience it provides. Create a credit history before moving on to credit cards.
In fact, a person with a credit card can also keep it as a backup so they can use it for specific purchases when “no-cost EMI” is not an option, but they are unsure of how to handle the 6-month usage limit or credit line freeze.
Few key points from the fine print, i.e., T&Cs of Uni 1/3rd card
- The Uni Card may not always be free: According to the Uni 1/3rd card’s terms and conditions, you may be required to pay a membership fee of up to $2499. Therefore, although the card is currently free, this may change.
- Late fees and penalties may be assessed for payments made after the Minimum Amount Due (MAD) has passed due: This is covered in the T&Cs. The customer service representative did mention that there are only late costs. As a result, penal interest on credit card lines may be introduced in the future.
- If the credit line is unutilized for six months, it could be frozen: “Please note the loan will be frozen and not be accessible for use until the Borrower activates the loan. Many people only keep their credit cards in their wallets for emergencies, which can be a problem.
- 4, 6, 9, and 12 months Products sold through EMI may have a high-interest rate: T&Cs mention an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of up to 30% on EMIs. Products with longer maturities will likely have higher interest rates.
Should you opt for a Uni Pay 1/3 Card?
You must be eager to choose this card, given the lucrative features and no interest rate for the first three months of the Uni card. Compared to credit cards, the late fees payable to this card are considered significant. However, you should only use this card if you can keep your spending under control and pay your bills on time. If not, you risk falling into a debt trap.
E.g., If your Uni Card account has been in default for more than three months and you owe Rs. 50000, you must pay an Rs. 3500 late payment fee. On the other hand, a Rs. 750 late fee applies if you hold a credit card from ICICI. It indicates that late fines are the card’s main selling point. It shows that credit card interest costs are included in late fees. According to experts, the Uni Pay 1/3 Card is an excellent solution for new credit card users who are not qualified for conventional credit cards because of their low income or wage. This card can be used in an emergency as well.
Comparing Uni cards to other available credit cards is not advisable. However, Uni is an intriguing deal with 1% cashback for complete payments and a free 3-month no-cost EMI.
For some high expenditures, it can resolve cash problems. There are situations when we know we cannot make the full payment but can do so in three easy installments. We do not receive benefits in these circumstances, which is the trade-off. Rewards for typical transactions can reach 2% or more when fully paid. If we bear in three installments, we will save more in interest than the 2% rebate we receive for paying in full. Therefore, wherever possible, paying in full with another credit card is always preferable.