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!