Access was a credit card brand originally introduced in the United Kingdom in 1972 by a consortium of National Westminster Bank, Midland Bank (now HSBC), Lloyds Bank (now Lloyds TSB Halifax Bank of Scotland) and Williams & Glyn's Bank (now the Royal Bank of Scotland), as a rival to the established Barclaycard (Visa). It was also issued in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland by Ulster Bank, a subsidiary of NatWest, Northern Bank, then a subsidiary of Midland; and Bank of Ireland, which was otherwise unconnected to the founder banks.
The card scheme was run from Southend-on-Sea in Essex, England, by the Joint Credit Card Company Limited. It participated in the Eurocard/MasterCard systems. Europay International SA has since been taken over by MasterCard International.
One of the early slogans was Your flexible friend (which was featured in an episode of Mr. Bean); another slogan which featured in a television advertisement was Does you does, or does you don't take Access? (sung to the tune of "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby"), accompanied by an animated Access and his friend Money (a pound sign); yet another slogan was It takes the waiting out of wanting. Access merged with the international credit card brand MasterCard in 1996.