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First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc has entered into an alliance with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Nigeria to address payment challenges experienced by local students when making online payments to ACCA’s parent body in the United Kingdom.

FCMB’s Head of Card Business, Richard Esin, told newsmen at a press briefing jointly addressed by the bank and ACCA in Lagos on Tuesday (June 22, 2010), that with the new alliance, FCMB will be offering a superior solution in the form of FCMB Prefunded cards for payments of students’ registration fees, examination fees, students’ yearly subscriptions, etc.

ACCA is a leading global accountancy body with a large student population, about 70 percent of who write their examinations in two diets in June and December, each year. To be eligible for these examinations, all students must register for the examinations and pay their yearly subscriptions and the examinations fees online in favor of ACCA.

Esin noted that the alliance between FCMB and ACCA has removed the online payment rigors faced by Nigerian students in the past. He outlined the benefits of the alliance to the students to include a simplified account opening process as only ACCA students’ identification cards are required. All other payment transaction requirements have been waived.

Other benefits include zero transaction fees for online transactions, no cash loading fees, and instant access to funds once deposited into the account with short message service (SMS) alert for all transactions. No minimum balance is required for transactions, while students have online access to account statements. FCMB Prefunded card is globally accepted in 210 countries and all electronic channels. Service is available in all the branches of FCMB Plc.

Oluwatoyin Ademola, ACCA Country Manager said “The FCMB Prefunded card addresses some of the challenges and concerns students had raised in terms of account opening process specific to ACCA students, charges, security and card functionality.”

“One of our core values at ACCA is accountability. We accept our individual and corporate responsibility by working together as an organization, to provide quality as well as services to our stakeholders. With our partnership with FCMB, it has become quite apparent that we will realize this goal, by introducing a faster, more secured and versatile payment method – The FCMB Prefunded card - which can only add value to our stakeholders whilst further building both brands,” Ademola also stated.

Esin also disclosed that the bank has broken a campaign which seeks to reward 10 ACCA students at $100 per student per June and December diets. Only new intakes (students) who use FCMB Prefunded cards to make online payments for their membership registration fee in favor of ACCA before August 15th, 2010 will be eligible for the reward. A second round of similar reward ($100 per student ) will be available to another set of 10 students who use the FCMB Prefunded card to make online payments for their December diet exams by November 15th, 2010. He said winners will be determined by raffle draw and the prizes presented during subsequent student events to be advised by ACCA.