For Okpala Mark, a Lagos-based clearing and freight forwarding agent, he never has to worry about paying his children’s school fees, at least not for the foreseeable future, after winning a five-year education allowance from the DiamondXtra savings reward scheme powered by Access Bank.
“Awesome,” said the agent, who has had the account since 2012, while expressing his excitement at winning the prize. “It’s very very important (for me),” he continued, “As a matter of fact, it’s a very big relief on my children’s school fees. Very big relief. I thank God and I thank Access Bank.”
Okpala further explained that he had opened his DiamondXtra account a long time ago and was not expecting to win. “Actually when I opened the account I didn’t know I would win anything or if they were doing any promo on the account. So I just opened an account. When I was told that I had won, I didn’t believe it. It was a very big surprise when I got there and I was told that I won.”
Last April, one of the winners was Chukwuemeka Emmanuel, a businessperson based in Lagos that had been operating his DiamondXtra account for five years. “I am filled with joy today and I encourage Nigerians to tap into the rewarding scheme,” Emmanuel said. “When I received a call that I have won ₦1million, I did not believe it, but now that the bank’s executives have presented a cheque, I have no reason to doubt them. I thank God and thank the management of Access Bank for this great initiative. My advice to all out there is to go and open a DiamondXtra account and save to win too.”
Like Emmanuel and Okpala, Access Bank has been impacting the lives of numerous customers through the reward scheme. Formerly called SavingsXtra, the initiative was launched in July 2008 by the defunct Diamond Bank to encourage savings and reward its loyal customers. Following a repositioning of the product in 2013 to cater to a larger section of Nigerians, the name of the scheme was changed to DiamondXtra.
The merger between Access and Diamond had brought doubts the savings initiative would no longer be on but it still stands as the longest reward scheme with two million customers. Over the last 11 years, about N5.7 billion have been won in cash and gift items monthly and quarterly by more than 19,000 customers.
Now in its 12th season, Access Bank has gone a step forward by enhancing the scheme to include benefits such as a Family Health Insurance cover for a year worth N1.6million; an increase in the number of winners for the Rent-for-a-year prize to 21 per quarterly draw from three and a ₦1million business grant. Meanwhile, a total of 5,027 customers will be rewarded with ₦348.9million in the current edition.
Despite being a highly-rewarding scheme, entry for participation is very simple. Existing customers only need to increase their DiamondXtra account balance with a minimum of ₦5,000 every month while new customers can open an account by simply dialing *901*5# with a minimum of ₦5,000 and start growing their balances. Every ₦5,000 in the DiamondXtra account gives the customer a ticket in the draws, so the more multiples of ₦5,000 saved, the higher the chance of winning.
At the monthly draw, 10 customers have the chance to win ₦1 million each while the quarterly draw includes the star prize of ₦100,000 salary paid every month for the next 20 years, education allowance for five years, rent for a year, and cash prizes ranging from ₦50,000 to ₦1 million. The current season also features women’s draws in March to commemorate Women’s Day as well as targeted draws to reward associations, organizations, Clubs, and Societies.
The reward redeeming process is as straightforward as well. Speaking in an interview with Ventures Africa, one of the winners of the ‘rent for a year’ prize in the current season, Akitiyan Yerimah in Kaduna, said she was able to get her prize despite not making it to Lagos. “It wasn’t stressful. I was not able to make it to Lagos to redeem the prize but I was able to liaise with the branch officer here and they credited my account.”
Yerimah, who has been a customer of Access Bank for just three years and uses her account for savings, added that the reward has “gone a long way in solving some financial issues.” She then called on Nigerians to partake in the initiative as it was real. “A lot of people think that things like this are a scam but it’s real,” she said. “Even me, before I thought it was a scam but as one of the beneficiaries, I believe that a lot of people can start saving too. Even if it is little, they still have a chance to win.”
Reiterating the bank’s commitment to rewarding its customers for their patronage, Victor Etuokwu, the company’s executive director for retail banking, describes DiamondXtra as “the best banking product in the country at the moment” while calling on Nigerians to move to the initiative so that they can “partake in the goodies which the product brings.”
Meanwhile, Robert Giles, the bank’s head for product insights and capabilities, notes that the recent merger between Access and Diamond will ensure more accessibility of products to more customers. “It is exciting that we are going to continue changing more lives because we now have a larger customer base,” he said. “So our coming together with the best capabilities will bring the best services and products in the market.”
DiamondXtra is an interest yielding hybrid account – a combination of both savings and current account features – which allows the deposit of both cash and third party cheques. To open a DiamondXtra account, simply dial *901# from your mobile phone and follow the prompts and fund the account with a minimum of ₦5,000 or click here to know more.