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Who remembers our flexible friend?

Just chatting with a chap over the phone to make an order for some bathroom stuff, when he asks for my Visa or Access card details. Of course he meant MasterCard not Access, and soon corrects himself apologising for his age.

“Oh no, I remember our flexible friend well”, I say …

It just goes to show the power of branding and a catchphrase, as the card has been defunct since 1996 when it merged with MasterCard.


Originally introduced in 1972 by National Westminster Bank, Midland Bank (now HSBC), Lloyds and The Royal Bank of Scotland, as a rival to the established Visa Barclaycard …

Barclaycard 1970s

… Access was one of the UK's best known and loved credit cards.

The reason why this chap happened to mention it to me, he explains, is that he took the second ever Access payment in the UK, way back in 1972.

“What was that for”, I asked, “and where were you working?”

“I was a store clerk back then with Selfridges”, he replies. “And the second payment ever made on Access was for a washing machine.”

“So what was the first ever Access payment for?” I enquired.

“Ah, that was for an Aston Martin”, he enthused. “That got a lot of publicity as it was an Aston Martin purchased by the Duke of Westminster, no less.”

Now that’s something you don’t find out everyday on Google, isn’t it?

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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