Access (credit card)

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Access card.png
Access credit card logo
LocationUnited Kingdom and Ireland
Launched23 October 1972
OperatorJoint Credit Card Company
CurrencyBritish and Irish pounds

Access was a British credit card brand used by three of the big four banks in the United Kingdom, plus a couple of other banks between 1972 and 1996. It was established by a consortium of banks in the United Kingdom, to rival the already established Barclaycard. It became defunct in 1996, when it was taken over by MasterCard.


The Access card was introduced in the United Kingdom on 23 October 1972[1] by a consortium consisting of the National Westminster Bank, the Midland Bank, Lloyds Bank and the National and Commercial Banking Group, as a rival to the established Barclaycard.

In Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, it was issued by Ulster Bank, a subsidiary of NatWest, Northern Bank, then a subsidiary of Midland Bank which was otherwise unconnected to the founder banks. The card scheme was run from several offices in Southend-on-Sea in Essex, England, by the Joint Credit Card Company with the main site being located at Priory Crescent, the former home of Ekco.

It participated in the Eurocard/MasterCard systems. Europay International has since been taken over by MasterCard International. The site was subsequently sold on to the Royal Bank of Scotland, before being demolished to make way for housing development.[2]

Cultural impact[edit]

From 1978, the main slogan of Access was "Your Flexible Friend", which featured in many television adverts, accompanied by an animated Access and his friend Money (a pound sign) also earlier adverts featured the bumbling "Fat Wallet". A take on the slogan ("My flexible friend") was featured in the third episode of Mr. Bean, when the title character is referring to his own credit card.[3][4]

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"). Yet another slogan was "It takes the waiting out of wanting". Access were shirt sponsors of Southend United Football Club in the beginning of 1980s.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "The Midland in 1972". The Herald. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "The Access Credit Card: History 1973 - 1977". Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Access Credit Card Advert 1987". 15 September 2012.

External links[edit]