Barclays bank gives customers power to block gambling transactions

By agency reporter
December 12, 2018

Barclays has become the UK’s first high street bank to give its customers the power to block gambling transactions and other retail payments using their debit cards. The announcement follows a concerted campaign by Money and Mental Health to improve the support available to people struggling with mental health problems and gambling, which has already seen digital banks Monzo and Starling launch similar tools.

Customers using the Barclays mobile banking app will now be able to ‘turn off’ payments for five different categories of spending, including gambling websites and betting shops. This is designed to give people greater control over their spending, helping to minimise the risk of harm associated with problem gambling.

In response, Martin Lewis, Founder and Chair of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute said: “Mental health and debt is a marriage made in hell. Many with mental health issues struggle to control their spending – whether through gambling, shopping or premium phone lines – and I commonly hear from people with thousands of pounds of debt as a result. This is one reason why I set up the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute charity – and its detailed research shows the power of giving people more options for control tools that can add friction to this type of spending.

“I want to applaud Barclays for being the first major bank to sit up, take note and act. I believe it will make a real difference to people’s lives and I hope the other banks will follow suit.”

* Money and Mental Health Policy Institute



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