UBL Omni vs MCB Lite

I have been using UBL Wiz Internet Card for the last 5 years and my experience has been mixed. Recently I acquired an MCB card. I’ll post an objective comparison here. Lets start with the similarities:

  • Both are independent of bank accounts
  • Annual charges are around Rs. 300 for both
  • Both can be acquired within one day
  • Both support ATM withdrawals
  • Both support Internet transactions

The differences:

  1. Issuance:
    1. Wiz: You have to visit the bank. Some branches do not issue wiz cards whereas those which do may not have these available and you may be asked to come later or visit another branch.
    2. Lite: Fill in an online form and the card is delivered to you within 4-7 days.
    3. Winner: MCB Lite
  2. Documents required:
    1. Wiz: CNIC + Proof of your source of income
    2. Lite: CNIC only.
    3. Winner: MCB Lite
  3. Activation:
    1. Wiz: Activated at time of issuance
    2. Lite: Need to visit a lite-enabled (aka “litized”) branch to get the card activated. In my case it only took 5 minutes.
    3. Winner: UBL Wiz
  4. Interfaces available:
    1. Wiz: None
    2. Lite: Desktop (web) and smartphone apps.
    3. Winner: MCB Lite
  5. Statement and Balance enquiry
    1. Wiz: Monthly statement sent by email. Balance enquiry only possible via ATM. SMS alert upon every transaction without indication of remaining balance.
    2. Lite: Can check statement anytime via web interface or app.
    3. Winner: MCB Lite
  6. Deposit procedure:
    1. Wiz: Go to a UBL branch and fill in a deposit form. Some branches require you to fill the more complicated remittance form instead, which I learned after having wasted lots of hours. The account number is a certain subset of digits from your WIZ card. While all UBL branches allows deposits to WIZ card, a separate “system” has to be online for it and all these transactions have to be “supervised” by a senior banker which is cumbersome. The only other way to deposit is by use of UBL ATM card in a UBL ATM.
    2. Lite: Go to an MCB bank. Fill in a simple deposit slip. Write your phone number in place of account number, and the deposit is made within a few seconds. Even better: You can transfer to your Lite card via any other bank’s account using the other bank’s ATM card or Internet Banking. I made a test transaction from another bank and it went on quite smoothly. Furthermore, you may receive instant transfers from other MCB Lite users. MCB claims that it will be introducing cash depositing machines soon too.
    3. Winner: MCB Lite (by an enormous margin)
  7. Usability:
    1. Wiz: Only ATM, POS and online shopping.
    2. Lite: In addition to above, you can use the card for sending money to other bank accounts (only for Rs. 20), or to pay your bills and to send donations… All via the MCB lite app.
    3. Winner: MCB Lite
  8. Online acceptance:
    1. Wiz: In my  personal experience, it is accepted at most popular gateways. However I have had a small list of websites which the card failed to work with and caused me considerable inconvenience.
    2. Lite: Yet to test extensively.
    3. Winner: Draw

CONCLUSION: MCB Lite is a clear winner in most aspects. I would strongly recommend it to everyone thinking of getting a card for online transactions. Click here to apply for it now.