The major goal of banks is to have as many customers as possible. In the past, it was difficult to attract account holders to banks because of the high cost of opening an account. Some banks might even demand you have a sum of #10,000 to open a savings account and this stood as a stumbling block to many low-income earners, including students, corp members, small-scale business owners, and petty traders. To capture such people who dominate the unbanked market share, banks including Access Bank PLC decided to introduce zero savings account to individuals to attract them.
Zero Bank Accounts
Most zero bank accounts are owned by students and low-income earners as earlier stated. The banks believe that they will take the next step and upgrade their accounts over time as these customers grow financially. Zero bank accounts are usually very limited and under strict restrictions in terms of how much services they can enjoy. ATM cards for such accounts are usually restricted to the lowest-ranked categories of cards which is the VERVE card. Though they may enjoy online banking and normal withdrawals, they cannot operate outside the country or conduct international payments.
Furthermore, there is a limit on how much can be credited into the account at once. Once you receive a credit alert of over #60,000, your account will be placed on lien and barred until you upgrade it. It is also interesting to note that you cannot have over #200,000 or #300,000 in such accounts. This is part of the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria. For you to exceed such barriers, you would need to visit the Access Bank branch near you and request an upgrade of your account.
Levels of Bank Accounts
According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, there are three levels of bank accounts in the Nigerian commercial banks.
- Tier 1 Bank Accounts: These are known as student accounts. What is required to open such accounts include a school identity card or admission letter from the institution and a passport photograph. The limit that can be saved in this account is a total of #200,000 to #300,000.
- Tier 2 Bank Accounts: These are mainly used by small-scale business owners and corp members who use them to collect their monthly allowances from the government. These accounts can be opened when the individual has a valid identity card and a passport photograph. The limit that can be saved in this account is a total of #500,000.
- Tier 3 Bank Accounts: These bank account users benefit from the full banking services because they are premium account holders. They do not have a limit on how much can be deposited in their accounts. To open such an account, you would need a valid means of identification, including a national identity card, voters card, driver’s license, or an international passport. Furthermore, you will also be asked to produce a utility bill which is also known as an electricity bill. Lastly, a background check will be conducted on how credible you are to own an account with the bank. The bank will go as far as confirming your place of residence and work address.
How to upgrade your Access Bank Account
- Walk up to any Access Bank branch around you. While you plan to go there, ensure you have the necessary documents which include a valid means of identification and a utility bill.
- Approach the customer care representative of the bank.
- Inform the customer care representative that you wish to upgrade your bank account.
- Once the agent responds to you, you will be given a form to fill.
- The form contains biodata questions about you that are required. Information necessary includes your occupation and place of work, a summary of your immediate family, where you opened the account initially, the type of account, your residential address with visible landmarks to show that someone lives there, your next of kin and his or her contact, and your salary range.
- Once you fill the form with the accurate information, your means of identification and utility bill will be scanned and stamped together with the form for processing.
- Within 48 hours, a background check about you will be done by the staff of Access Bank and when they find you credible, you will receive a message that your account has been upgraded.
- Once your account has been upgraded, you can enjoy the premium services the bank has to offer. These services include access to credit cards that facilitate international transactions and no limit on how much you can save in your account.
The benefit of upgrading your account outweighs the cost of using a tier-one account. It is now easier for customers of Access Bank to enjoy such swift services especially when they are operating on a tier-three account. To know more about these services, visit the Access Bank contact us page for more information.