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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Intercontinental to launch Prepaid MasterCards

LEADING financial institution in the country, the Intercontinental Bank Plc, has concluded plans to launch its Prepaid MasterCard into the nation’s electronic payment solution market.

Disclosing this in a chat with newsmen at the corporate headquarters of the bank in Victoria Island Lagos, the Executive Assistant to the Group Chief Executive, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Mr. Soji Janyo, said the bank would soon be going public with some of its latest in stock.

One of this offers, he said, is the Prepaid MasterCard, a product developed in response to the yearning of teeming banking community, especially for those who travel abroad at short intervals and is the first of its kind in the nation’s banking history.

Highlighting the benefits of the Prepaid MasterCard, the Group Executive, Intercontinental Direct Card Services, Mrs. Uchenna Okwodu, said that it currently comes in two denominations, namely the $100 and $200 cards respectively.

She also said that this could be acquired over the counter at any of the bank’s branches nationwide at additional cost of $25.

Mrs. Okwodu added that it could be obtained without necessarily having an account with the bank, just as it would avail users the opportunity of making payment anywhere in the world, even as it is reloadable.

This prepaid MasterCard, she pointed out, is very good for Nigerians and those studying abroad, hence their guardians could reload their card at intervals without hassles.

“Intercontinental is the first bank to introduce this in order to make its customer feel at home and better as well at ease in moving around, mostly when they have to make purchase abroad,” she said.

According to her, before now, getting any electronic payment card takes up to five days, but with technology available to the bank and its partner, MasterCard, this prepaid product was developed and could be acquired in matters of few hours.

“All that is required is for the customer to fill our form, submit passport photograph with identification,” Mrs. Okwodu said.

She noted that the bank has two other denominations, namely $1000 and $2000, which would require nametag on the card and could take about three days to actualise.

She further disclosed that the bank as the leading financial institution in the country, has so far issued over 20,000 MasterCards.

Mrs. Okwodu explained that each prepaid card issued is registered at the branch of issue and head office card centre, and “only minimal personal information would be requested as required by MasterCard ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) theory.”

She advised that users should always have in mind some of the salient questions about their cards, so as to enable them answer correctly at point of emergency.

Equally speaking, the Card Service Operations Officers at Intercontinental Direct, Mrs. Gina Anyanwu accompanied by Mr. Kayode Sorinwa, assured that plans have been completed to ensure that this product is available nationwide, stressing that there is a plan with MasterCard to handle emergency Prepaid cards in the case of theft to enable such user to still complete his or her purchase on time and get home.

She however, cautioned that in the case of any rejection, it could be attributed to sites and assured Nigerian users of the latest product that the bank has all it takes to ensure they enjoy the product to the fullest.

Mr. John D. Omachonu of the Corporate Affairs department, also informed Champion Infotel that the official launch date has been fixed for Friday, June 22 in Lagos.

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