In maintaining its leadership status as Nigeria’s most innovative bank, Access Bank has unveiled two new consumer credit cards: the Access Bank American Express Gold Card and the Metal Platinum Card. These are the first American Express cards to be issued in Nigeria and West Africa. By launching these cards, Access Bank has improved its overall offering to its retail and private bank customers, who can now enjoy the Membership Rewards loyalty programme and a wide range of travel and lifestyle benefits.
In 2019, Access Bank signed an agreement with American Express to start acquiring merchants, enabling businesses across the country to accept payments from international American Express Cards. The bank is now ready to issue the first American Express credit cards in West Africa. The Gold and Platinum Cards showcase the international American Express card design, featuring the distinctive ‘Centurion’ icon.
Similar products are also issued outside of Nigeria by American Express or third parties licensed by American Express and provide cardmembers with extensive rewards and benefits. Through Access Bank, this credit card experience is now available in Nigeria.
Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director, Access Holdings, said the cards will be available by request and invitation and customers who have signified interest will begin to enjoy the usage from Tuesday, June 13, 2023.
He said, “We are a bank of many firsts. We do have a wide network and with this partnership, AMEX will have 60 million customers supporting this partnership. It is a massive endorsement for us to work with AMEX in this partnership.
Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director and CEO of Access Bank said: “ The launch of American Express Cards in Nigeria is another milestone in the continued development of a vibrant and fast-growing payments industry. Customers want more than transactions – they want real value.
“With American Express, we can provide valuable card benefits, strong loyalty rewards, and a real reason to use electronic payments instead of cash. By diversifying our services to facilitate payments, we can connect more consumers to the SMEs and retail businesses across the country who we know are the engine of economic growth.”
Chizoma Okoli, Deputy Managing Director, Retail South, Access Bank, said the unveiling of the credit cards is a testament to the bank’s leadership role in the country.
Her words, “We are always at the forefront in the banking sector here in Nigeria and this is our newest innovation as we lead others. You can see these AMEX cards anywhere in Nigeria except here at Access. I know our customers who are going to reap the benefits will be proud of us”.
Victor Etiokwu, Deputy Managing Director, Retail North, said the partnership with American Express is not the first and won’t be the last.
He said, “In the payment world, it is important to have varieties and as a financial sector supermarket, we have varieties of lovely items for the benefit of our customers. AMEX is a unique brand and we have always wanted to have them on our portfolio and we are glad this has become a reality. We will continue to collaborate with AMEX.
Mohammed Badi, President, of Global Network Services at American Express, said, “By granting Access Bank a license to launch the first-ever American Express Cards in Nigeria, American Express’ presence in Africa is becoming even more vibrant. The Access Bank American Express Gold Card and the metal Platinum Card enhance the credit card experience in Nigeria with special benefits, access, and service – for Cardmembers both in Nigeria and when traveling overseas.”
Alongside dual-currency functionality (NGN/USD) and international acceptance, the American Express cards include airport lounge access, car rental perks, membership rewards, loyalty points, as well as insurance and protections.
On top of these features, the Platinum Card also offers expanded airport lounge benefits, with complimentary access to more than 1,400 lounges through the American Express Global Lounge Collection.
There are also Hotel perks and upgrades through The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels + Resorts, special status access in the Hilton Honours, Radisson Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy rewards programmes.
Other benefits include complimentary access to hotel membership programmes, with Tablet Plus membership and Mr & Mrs. Smith Gold status, 24/7 travel, and lifestyle concierge services.
At the launch, Briana Wisley, Vice President and General Manager, Network Partnerships EMEA, American Express, while commenting on the partnership between Access Bank and AMEX said it was only Access Bank that ticked all the boxes they were looking for and AMEX is happy to be doing this with Access Bank.
She said, “Across Nigeria and in West Africa, Access Bank has a great record of expertise and innovations in the payment space. And this is why we are excited to have them as the issuing partner for this product in Nigeria and West Africa. So it is very exciting for both of us.
“We are a globally integrated payments company and one of the world’s largest card issuers. We are happy with Access Bank and we give customers access to products, insights, and experiences that make life better and help grow business value. Today, we have more than 135 million cards globally. You can use them in over eight million locations in 198 countries and territories.
“So you can see that we are a global brand and we are glad that Access Bank customers are now going to enjoy all the benefits of having AMEX cards. One of our key objectives is to continue expanding that scale and relevance globally. And we do this in many ways by investing to modernize the AMEX network by launching innovative products and granting licenses to financial institutions like Access Bank, which can issue cards and grant access to our cards to millions of merchants.
“In fact, since 2017, the number of places you can use your AMEX cards globally has more than tripled. And that is a great part, thanks to our wonderful partners like Access Bank”.