Access Bank Visa Cards

Using the various measuring indices, i do not think Access Bank qualifies as the top bank in Nigeria. Compared to First Bank, Zenith, GTB, etc, Access Bank is definitely not in their league. That, to me, is a very big plus!

Banking in Nigeria, like the GSM sector, is usually a game of numbers. “I am the first to do this, first to get that…”, these unprofessional conducts probably contributed to the downfall of some of the troubled banks.

Almost every bank you go to, you find the same banking products being offered. The practice is very simple, get the product paper of a particular product from a rival bank, remove GTB or Zenith or whatever bank name from it (probably using “find and replace” function of Microsoft Word), insert your bank name, give it your own fancy name. Then you publish in the papers the “unique” product your bank is offering to “esteemed” customers. You may have heard of products like “easy save”, “platinum “, “GT Max”, etc. The sad part of it is that, in the bid to justify their salaries, the product dynamics are not even thought through at all! That’s why the products fade away in a few years.

I do not think Access Bank dollar denominated Visa card product is any different from what other banks are offering. What has differentiated their product is good Customer Service, plain and simple. For the 3 years i have used their card, i have not had any reason to quarrel with them. Trust me, i do that a lot! Quick response to email inquiries, prompt sms alert to card transactions,phone/email confirmations to card transactions, online access to view your transactions, assistance in confirming your card to foreign online merchants, 24 hour service from their contact center,etc. The list is endless. Except for a few “die-hard” anti-Nigeria sites like Symantec.com, my card has been accepted by at least 90% of the sites i visit. I believe all these are possible because of the smaller and more manageable size of the bank. Anyone been to GTB lately?!

Unfortunately, i do not have very nice words for their branches, i even had to close one of my Naira accounts with one of their Victoria Island, Lagos branches because of the terrible service i got.

If anyone is considering getting a Visa Card for legitimate transactions , i strongly recommend Access Bank Visa Cards!

4 Comments

  1. spacyzuma says:

    I recommend Zenith’s Visa Dollar Cards. I got one about 4 months ago, and have used it with almost Zero complaints.

    Before choosing it, I went to more than 6 banks for enguiries. They all told me I needed to open a Dollar/Domiciary account first. Some said I needed to open a Current Account, then a Dom Account!! See Wahala. I don’t have a Current Account, and still do not need one at this point in my life.

    Only Zenith gave me the best option. Without having an account with them, just bring your raw dollar cash [$120 minimum], and they’ll give you a classic Visa Card locked to an account that you can recharge as you wish. Sweet!! They charge $5 per recharge and $20 for card renewal. I used this card to pay for my GRE, TOEFL, and buy some stuff online with no problems. SMS alerts arrived within 10 SECONDS OF ALL TRANSACTIONS !!

    What requirements did you have to do before getting the Access Visa cards? And what are their charges [recharge, renewal, transaction, etc]?

  2. Same goes for Access Bank cards, your card is tied to an account that you can “recharge” with and the limit of the cash you can transact with is subject to the balance in that account. Of course, due diligence would be carried out to verify that you are who you claim to be before your account is opened at all.

    The part i dont get with your Zenith card is the fee you are being charge any time you reload your card, Access does not charge that at all. However, i think their card renewal fee is $30 and they retain $50 of your funds at anytime so they can take their charges, should you decide to close your account with them at anytime.

  3. spacyzuma says:

    Then that’s the difference. Zenith has renewal fee of $20, and I was able to use my money until less than $3 dollars was left before the card expired.

    Off topic, are Ubuntu 10.10 and Fedora 14 cds available yet? I may be entering Lagos next week, and would like to have them.

  4. What about the $5 you are being charged everytime you load your card, that is not good.

    I have stopped my Linux DVD subscription as they were not offering 64 bits distros, will get back to you when i have things sorted out

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