UK banking group NatWest announced on Wednesday it has introduced a 48-hour delay gambling block. According to NatWest, the measure on debit cards will allow customers to take further control of their spending.
“During lockdown, NatWest saw a decline in gambling transactions. As restrictions have eased, however, gambling related spend amongst NatWest customers has started to increase rapidly. Overall gambling related spending is around 32% higher in September 2020 than in 2019.”
Natwest noted that the block will remain in place indefinitely unless a customer chooses to remove it, in which case it can be disabled after a 48-hour cooling-off period. The banking group’s customers can access the gambling control in their mobile banking app via Manage My Card, and then Card payment controls. David Lindberg, CEO of Retail Banking at NatWest spoke about the new feature by stating:
“The introduction of a gambling block for debit card customers will help us to equip problem gamblers across the UK with more tools to support their recovery. Problem gambling and financial hardship go hand in hand and through our work with GamCare, we have offered an increasing amount of help to those customers who need it most through our trained specialists and donating branch space for treatment therapy to reduce traditional barriers to access.”
NatWest added it participates in GamCare’s Gambling Related Financial Harm Advisory Panel, which recently introduced a comprehensive toolkit for financial institutions, gambling businesses and debt advice agencies across the UK to help them recognise, support and refer customers experiencing gambling-related financial harms, and provide consistent communications across all points of the customer journey.