By allowing their customers to block certain types of payments, a growing number of British banks are assisting their clients spend less money, not more. Self-redemption and genuine concern for the well-being of customers may be the most significant emerging trend of 2019.
According to reports, smaller banks Monzo and Starling offered the service before Barclays introduced its own version of the feature in its app in December of last year. It is presently only available for debit cards and EFTs, but credit cards will be supported in the future.
How It Operates
Depending on the bank, consumers can activate the feature in their mobile app settings or by contacting their bank’s customer service. Monzo and other institutions offer the option to block gambling payments. This institution has already witnessed a 70% decline in such transactions.
However, Barclays permits customers to select which categories are prohibited. In addition to real-money gaming, other categories include restaurants, takeout food, bars, and pubs, expensive phone lines and websites, gas stations, and grocery stores and food expenditures. Starling’s service is the only one that blocks payments to specific casinos and retailers.
Unblocking Is Difficult
Monzo makes it difficult to authorize payments. It is made plain on the website that this is to allow customers who made a rash decision to gamble to reconsider.
If a person decides to resume playing games for real money, they must contact the bank’s customer service department, who may query their decision and circumstances. 48 hours later, the option to unblock wagering payments within the app will become available.
Consistent with Gambling Law
The banks’ decision to assist customers whose gambling and other addictions may be putting them in a financial bind is consistent with the recent drive to renew industry regulation. Player protection was a hot topic in the debates that erupted around the topic.
The Gambling Commission of the United Kingdom requires casinos and bookmakers to offer users the option of self-exclusion. Natalie Ledward, a specialist in vulnerable customers, stated that the Monzo team believed banks could better support this option.
Ledward explained that the organization intended to assist its clients in preventing addiction-related financial difficulties, as opposed to attempting to support their recovery only once they were in debt. Various focus groups and charities, including the Money Advice Trust, applauded the decision.
Considering Customers Serious
In the aftermath of renewed gambling industry regulation, the launch of payment exclusion features may be a step toward a more supportive and healthier society. Undoubtedly, retailers and other industries will realize that consumers are more than mere walking wallets. It may only be a matter of time before they offer comparable services.