To increase credit card penetration in Nigeria, Access Bank has launched the first American Express cards in Nigeria and West Africa.
The bank launched two new consumer credit cards, the Access Bank American Express Gold Card and the Metal Platinum Card on Thursday in Lagos.
According to Statista, over the past years credit card penetration in Nigeria has continuously increased and is projected to continuously increase between 2023 and 2028. In 2028, credit card penetration will have increased for the fifth consecutive year to 3.63 percent.
Access Bank said it intends to improve its overall offering to its customers, who can now enjoy the membership rewards loyalty programme and a wide range of travel and lifestyle benefits with the launch of the cards.
“With over 135 million cards globally and three times the increase in places you can use American Express cards since 2017, Access Bank has brought a product of value to Nigerians,” Victor Etuokwu, deputy managing director, retail north, Access Bank Plc said at the launch.
In 2019, Access Bank signed an agreement with American Express to start acquiring merchants, enabling businesses across the country to accept payments from international American Express Cards.
The Gold and Platinum Cards showcase the international American Express card design, featuring the distinctive ‘Centurion’ icon. Similar products are also issued outside of Nigeria by American Express or third parties licensed by American Express and provide Cardmembers with extensive rewards and benefits. Through Access Bank, this credit card experience is now available in Nigeria.
Roosevelt Ogbonna, managing director and CEO of Access Bank said “The launch of American Express Cards in Nigeria is another milestone in the continued development of a vibrant and fast-growing payments industry. Customers want more than transactions – they want real value. With American Express, we can provide valuable card benefits, strong loyalty rewards, and a real reason to use electronic payments instead of cash. By diversifying our services to facilitate payments, we can connect more consumers to the SMEs and retail businesses across the country who we know are the engine of economic growth.”
Mohammed Badi, President, Global Network Services at American Express, said: “By granting Access Bank a license to launch the first-ever American Express Cards in Nigeria, American Express’ presence in Africa is becoming even more vibrant. The Access Bank American Express Gold Card and the metal Platinum® Card enhance the credit card experience in Nigeria with special benefits, access, and service – for Cardmembers both in Nigeria and when travelling overseas.”
These cards afford their users dual-currency functionality (NGN/USD) and international acceptance.
The American Express Cards benefits include airport lounge access, car rental perks, membership rewards, loyalty points, as well as insurance and protections.
The Platinum Card also offers expanded airport lounge benefits, with complimentary access to more than 1,400 lounges through the American Express Global Lounge Collection, hotel perks and upgrades, special status access in the Hilton Honours, Radisson Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy rewards programmes, complimentary access to hotel membership programmes, with tablet plus membership and Mr & Mrs Smith Gold status, 24/7 travel and lifestyle concierge services.
The Nigerian credit card market is small, and products are exclusively targeting a small, highly affluent section of the population. There were just 726,000 active credit cards at the end of 2021, representing a penetration rate of 0.6 cards per 100 adults.