Get to know the hidden T&Cs and fine prints of Slice, PostPe, Uni 1/3rd and other credit line cards before applying for them.Nowadays, credit line cards such as Slice, PostPe, Uni 1/3rd cards are doing a lot of marketing and positioning themselves as alternatives to credit cards. Therefore, why not look at some of their fine print and understand how they are different from traditional credit cards. Probably, then you would be in a better position to decide whether you should apply or not.
Slice, PostPe, Uni Card– what are they?
These are credit line cards or challenger cards that split the bill in 3 or more instalments. Their names also make that intent very clear. SliceIt – indicates slice your bills. PostPe – indicates pay it later. Uni 1/3rd card – clearly indicates pay in 3 instalments. These cards are targeted towards a segment of customers who are generally not eligible for credit cards.
A quick comparison table of Slice, PostPe and Uni 1/3 cards is below. It highlights that these cards are a collaboration of 3 companies coming together and offering a credit card like product.
What are the charges and fine print associated with Slice, PostPe and Uni 1/3rd cards?
The thing here is late payment fee itself can be substantial for the amount outstanding. In addition, there could be interest charges also. Thus, whether it’s credit cards or pseudo credit cards, if you don’t pay on time, the late fee and interest payments will screw you.
Fine Print/ Hidden T&Cs
I found quite a few strange T&Cs to get a Slice card. Listed below are a few of them
- You need to link your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts in Slice app
- The app takes your friend’s or reference’s contact number. The reason stated is “Your friend’s or reference’s number helps us reach out to you in case we are not able to reach out to you directly”. However, let’s face it; it will be used for recovery purposes in case you default on your payments.
- Below is the kind of permission the Slice app needs on your mobile and whats more strange is you cant use the app if you revoke any of these permissions.
- The strangest thing was this statement “if someone uses your promotion code, we may associate your name with that person and their usage of the Portal”. What it means is if I refer someone and that person defaults, he/she can be associated with me. A big red flag to people sharing their referral code widely on social media.
Not that only SliceIt has such requirements. Even PostPe takes a lot of data from user’s mobile
They even may ask you for a compulsory NACH mandate from your bank account for repayment.
How does Slice, PostPe, Uni 1/3rd cards differ from credit cards?
Credit cards in India are issued by banks. However, these challenger cards are a collaboration of 3 companies coming together, to create a credit card like product. The 3 companies are as follows:
Fintech/Technology Company – This fintech will have the technical expertise to develop such a product. More important than that, it has lots of cash from VCs.
Financier/NBFC – Since the fintech cannot do lending by regulation. It needs to tie up with an NBFC to give loans to customers. In case, you happen to have any of these cards. The credit enquiry against your name will be from one of these NBFCs. For example, I have Uni 1/3rd card, but on my credit report name of the lender is NDX P2P, because that company has given me a loan.
Card Issuer/Bank –The fintech has arranged an NBFC to give loans. However, they need a card issuer so that payments can be made anywhere and everywhere. Else, what’s the use, right? Thus they tie up with a card issuer, which is typically a bank. However, the card these banks issue is not a debit or credit card, it’s a prepaid card or store value card. The most simple examples of prepaid cards are the Sodexo card that some of us get from the employer or the forex cards that we buy when travelling abroad.
Does the service/features differ for Slice, PostPe, Uni 1/3rd cards and credit cards?
Yes. Below are some of the differences between these challenger credit cards and real credit cards
Grievance redressal In case of issues with your credit cards, you can reach out to 24×7 banks’ call centers and get it sorted. However, in the case of credit line cards things can get a bit tricky. Nevertheless, the fintech companies have a customer care helpline but it may not be available 24×7. For example, the Slice call centre is operational only Monday-Friday.
Or they may choose not to mediate in disputes between you and Merchant/Lenders, below are the snapshots from Uni 1/3rd and PostPe’s T&Cs.
In my view, this can be of serious concern when you want to block your card, report a fraudulent transaction or dispute the same or there is some error in reporting to credit bureaus. As these companies may choose not to mediate in such cases.
Credit period Credit cards offer a free credit period of 12-18 days post bill generation. Thus, you have ample time to pay off the bill. However, Slice, PostPe, Uni 1/3rd cards only give 3-5 days to pay off the bills. This is too short a period. The probability of you missing the payment date is higher in this case.
International acceptability You can use credit cards to make payments in foreign exchange, either when travelling to a foreign country or shopping online. However, these credit line cards cannot be used to make payments in foreign currency.
No cash withdrawal thru ATM Slice, PostPe, Uni 1/3rd don’t allow cash withdrawal thru ATM. However, some of these cards allow transferring a part of your credit limit to a bank account for a fee, but no cash withdrawal is allowed.
Acceptability issues I have faced some acceptability issues on Uni 1/3rd card, especially when loading money to my wallet accounts. Not sure if such issues exist with Slice, PostPe. Such things never happen with credit cards. If a merchant accepts, say Visa credit card, then all Visa credit cards work without exception.
The idea behind highlighting the fine prints and kind of permissions these apps take is not to dissuade you from applying for these cards but to make you aware of what you are getting into. You need to make the final decision whether you are okay with that.
If you ask me, will I apply for these cards, knowing these things? The answer is an absolute NO. However, I already have a Uni card and I am seriously contemplating closing it.
As my friend rightly tweeted here, be cautious with these cards. My 2 cents, for someone who already has a credit card from any bank, he/she can safely avoid these cards. For someone who needs to build a credit score or needs a credit card equivalent product, I suggest exploring secured credit cards such as Kotak 811, OneCard Lite and others.
Are you okay with the kind of permissions these apps ask for, do share your view? Also share your user experience, if you have used any of these cards