Monzo, the digital bank, has noted an increase in the number of individuals seeking support for problem gambling. According to gambling charity GamCare, more people have reached out for assistance this year than ever before. In response to this, Monzo became the first bank in June 2018 to offer customers the option to block gambling spending from their accounts. These measures, combined with other support methods such as self-exclusion, give individuals the ability to restrict their gambling habits.
Monzo revealed that nearly 100,000 individuals have utilized this feature in the past 10 months, resulting in over 200,000 attempted gambling transactions being blocked. The bank has been working closely with GamCare, customers, industry experts, and individuals with direct experience of gambling harm to enhance their gambling block functionality. As a result of these improvements, Monzo now meets 87% of GamCare’s recommendations for how banks can support customers at risk of gambling harm, compared to the previous 45%.
The new changes implemented by Monzo provide clients with more control and flexibility over how they block gambling spending from their accounts. These enhancements aim to ensure that individuals have the necessary tools and support to manage and reduce the harm caused by gambling. For customers who already use the gambling block, Monzo will refrain from notifying them about these changes to prevent any potential triggers. However, all Monzo users now have access to these new features.
Additionally, Monzo now offers longer cooling-off periods for individuals who choose to turn off the gambling block. This delay gives users a chance to reconsider their decision, as impulsive gambling can often lead to negative consequences. Clients can now opt to wait up to a year before they can resume making gambling transactions.
Apart from the gambling block, Monzo provides various other tools to help individuals manage their gambling habits. These include the ability to lower spending limits, opt out of lending products, such as loans, and block bank transfers. Monzo believes that utilizing the gambling block alongside other self-exclusion tools and support is the most effective way to address gambling issues.
Monzo continues to advocate for better protection of individuals struggling with gambling, urging banks and financial services companies to prioritize the implementation of measures and products that safeguard against gambling harm. With their platform and influence in the industry, Monzo remains committed to supporting customers and raising awareness surrounding responsible gambling.
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