Access Your Flexible Friend 80s

Access is a defunct credit card, originally introduced in the United Kingdom in 1972 by a consortium of National Westminster Bank, Midland Bank (now HSBC), Lloyds Bank (now Lloyds TSB), and The Royal Bank of Scotland, as a rival to the established Barclaycard (VISA). It was also issued in both 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 unconnected to the founder banks. The card scheme was run from Southend-on-Sea in Essex, 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 itself.

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. Some businesses still advertise as accepting the Access card as old signage has not been removed. The brand is considered nostalgic in the United Kingdom, in a similar manner to the former Midland Bank griffin logo.

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