By Nkiruka Nnorom
Dolapo Orelaja, Head, Consumer Proposition, Access Bank Plc spoke on a lifestyle proposition – XclusivePlus – that offers the Access Bank’s clients exclusive privileges such as access to over 800 premium lounges globally, 36 exclusive lounges within Nigeria and free multi-trade travel insurance among other benefits. Excerpt:
Could you explain what XclusivePlus is all about?
XclusivePlus is an amazing lifestyle offering specifically designed to provide our clients with an exceptional service and exclusive privilege they deserve. That’s the reason we designed this proposition for our customers. With the XclusivePlus, customers get to enjoy so many benefits.
Once a customer subscribes, he automatically gets upgraded to Visa Signature card, one of our premium cards. With this premium debit card, you have immense global benefits for both local and international usage. You have free access to over 800 premium lounges globally. In addition to that, you also have access to 36 exclusive lounges within Nigeria and these lounges are also located in branches and at the airport. We have free multi-trade travel insurance and medical assistance, which is used by a lot of our clients. So, there are so many benefits, you have free movie tickets. Customers get to redeem two free movie tickets every month and one event ticket every quarter. These are some of the benefits customers stand to get by subscribing to the proposition.
Since Diamond Bank’s merger with Access Bank, the enlarged entity has opened up the lifestyle proposition to all customers. So, everybody that have account with Access Bank can participate by simply subscribing.
How big is your subscriber base since you started the proposition?
This proposition was launched on October 2018 and as at today, we have thousands of subscribers. I would say that we have over 11,000 subscribers as at today. So, you will see that people are enjoying this proposition, but we keep growing everyday. Again, we want to add more benefits to ensure that customers are being catered for and are enjoying the special benefits. For instance, we are speaking with travel agencies to see how we can give our customers discounted airline tickets. We are also working with another company that deals with lifestyle benefits in other African countries. We are still in talks with them. We have not on-boarded them yet, but once we do that, we will share that with our customers.
What categories of your customers is XclusivePlus proposition open to?
The XclusivePlus proposition is designed for our customers. When I say our customers, I mean all Access Bank customers. So, it is open to all customers that understand the value of that proposition and can afford it.
How affordable is the proposition and how can a customer key in?
For XclusivePus, there is a subscription fee. We have a monthly subscription fee of N5,999 for a customer to have access to lounges, VIP treatment over 900 hotels and so many benefits and that’s just for N5,999 monthly. Customers can choose to do quarterly subscription, which is about N17,997. We are offering a 20 percent special discount to customers that will want to subscribe annually, which is N57,599. So, rather than pay N75,000 and above, with a 20 percent discount, if you subscribe annually, you get to pay N57,599.00 only.
Would you say that this proposition has added to the number of your depositor base?
When we launched in October last year, we had just nobody, but now, we have over 11,000 subscribers. So, it has deepened our relationship with our customers.
Can a customer migrate from other accounts, say DiamondXtra to XclusivePlus?
Yes, you can. You can open XclusivePlus in any of our individual Current and Savings Account. With DiamondXtra, you just upgrade to XclusivePlus by just paying the subscription fee and you can enjoy the benefits as long as it is an individual account.
Are there other extra charges and how often is a customer allowed to withdraw from the account?
You just pay your subscription fee and that is all. Your account conditions remain. The XclusivePlus is an add-on; it is an add-on proposition.
So, you get the card and the benefits by subscribing. If you are a DiamondXtra account holder and the minimum balance is N5,000, you have to make sure that your subscription fee is above your minimum account criteria, otherwise you have a normal account issues with that.
One of your customers talked about having balance of one million in one’s account to be able to participate…?
That was in the past. The proposition began with a certain band of our customers but we have opened it up to everyone. Don’t forget that the XclusivePlus is a proposition; it has nothing to do with a product, we just tie the proposition to a particular account. For me to subscribe as a customer to XclusivePlus proposition, I have to link an account to it where the bank can get the subscription fee.
In addition to that, XclusivePlus proposition won the Best Affluent Banking Initiative in West Africa some weeks ago. That’s to show you that even the international community recognise what we do. Customers can choose to opt out if they feel that the proposition is no longer enhancing their lifestyle.
The proposition started last year in defunct Diamond Bank, with the merger between Access and Diamond Bank into a bigger entity, what is your vision for the subscribers?
Our vision for the proposition is to grow our subscribers to 100,000 by December and I believe that we are going to exceed that because we have 11,000 subscribers at the moment and it is still growing. Now, with the merger, we have opened XclusivePlus to everybody. This is open to over 29 million customers. Any customer that can afford it and understand the value of the proposition can subscribe and they can do this in less two minutes using their phones by visiting www.accessbank.com/xclusiveplus.
Would you say that what you have in Access Bank currently is similar to what is obtainable in other international companies?
Let’s start with local. I can tell you that for now, Access Bank is the only bank that offers this amazing lifestyle proposition in the Nigeria banking industry and I am sure that is why we were recognised as the Best Affluent Banking Initiative in West Africa. Regarding the international scene, I know that there are few banks that offer this lifestyle benefit. Again, we are up to par; I have not seen a bank as at today that offers this amazing proposition. Again, the proposition is tailored to suit our customer base in Nigeria. So, there are things you can’t actually enjoy if you are outside this counry. Even if you secure a job outside Nigeria, there are things you cannot enjoy; you won’t be able to enjoy free move and events tickets. So, we actually tailored it to suit our community.
How do you intend to sustain this?
The reason for the initiative is just about adding value. We are constantly looking for new things to add on to that proposition like free business. So, for us, it is sustainable.