UBL also blocks Netflix payments, but not for the reason you think

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July 18, 2019
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The most convenient facility available to banking customers is a debit card, which allows them to pay local and international service providers online. However, it appears that the banking institutes in our country have taken issue with international payments, as United Bank Limited (UBL) follows Meezan Bank in blocking Netflix payments.

At first glance, it appears that UBL’s motivation for blocking payments to the popular streaming service has something to do with the content being ‘haram’, as was the case with Meezan Bank’s infamous action. According to the bank’s customer representatives though, this is certainly not the case.

A UBL employee affiliated with customer support at the bank has stated that the facility of Netflix payments is unavailable not because of any inherent motivations, but because of a technical snag; there are some security issues at their end that prevent the process from being executed. He went on to add that the security team was hard at work fixing the issue, but he declined to give an exact time of recovery.

This no doubt comes across as a relief for Netflix subscribers who are UBL customers because the inability to pay for their service is not going to persist. Moreover, even though this incident appears to have a whiff of the Meezan Bank controversy, that is not the case either. The latter decided to take down its facility of Netflix payments because it “cannot provide any product or service that is not in line with the guidelines of Shariah Compliance.”

The decision was unsurprisingly ridiculed by the masses, and it drove home the feeling that more banks around Pakistan were bound to follow suit. That’s a huge reason for why UBL’s abrupt issue with Netflix payments unsettled their customers, but as it happens, they can breathe easily now that the situation has been cleared up.

UBL’s spokesman has so far been unavailable for comment.

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