The Access Credit Card: History 1978 - 1989

Access Sports & Social Club Opens

On 1st September 1981, the Access Sports and Social Club opened for business at its new premises at 123 Eastern Avenue, Southend-on-Sea. Download the souvenir copy of SCAN here. Many thanks to Barry Tanner for scanning and supplying this for other's enjoyment.

The Accept EFTPOS System

On 15th April 1986, the trademark "ACCEPT" was registered for use in the following trademark classes: "Electrical and electronic apparatus; computing apparatus; electrical and optical data processing apparatus; parts and fittings included in Class 9 for all the aforesaid goods; computer programmes; magnetic tapes and discs, all for recording or bearing data."

The 'ACCEPT' EFTPOS System Logo

Subsequent to this, on 1st October 1986, the trademark "ACCEPT" was again registered, but this time for use in the following trademark classes: "Credit card and charge card services; electronic funds transfer and payment services; all included in Class 36."

It would seem that ACCEPT was a somewhat short-lived EFTPOS system. More information is available in the merchant Electronic Submission Systems document. This would have been the era when it was desirable for the magnetic stripe to supersede the zip-zap machines that were still commonplace for point of sale transactions. ACCEPT branded devices were present in the marketplace in 1989, with 5,562 devices at 3,662 outlets appearing that year, only to be shelved the year after. Other EFTPOS systems such as Barclays Bank's PDQ and NatWest's Streamline seemed to dominate the market, and ACCEPT was quickly abandoned.

The sudden withdrawal of the ACCEPT system may not have been down to something as simple as competing EFTPOS platforms, however, as it was during 1989 that the Joint Credit Card Company Limited became re-branded as Signet Limited. The banks were preparing to sell their stakes in the credit card processing company.

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