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Further banks introduce optional spending blocks

Charites and consumer groups have welcomed Lloyds, Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland’s plans to introduce controls for their customers over where they can spend their money, including allowing the blocking of gambling payments.

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The announcement follows on from the launch of similar controls by Barclays last month and work from Monzo and Starling in this same area last year.


In Barclays’ case, customers will be able to block certain types of spending on their debit card through a feature introduced to the bank’s mobile app.


As a result, customers will have the option of blocking spending in various categories, including:

  • Groceries and supermarkets;
  • Restaurants, takeaways, pubs and bars;
  • Petrol and diesel;
  • Gambling, including gambling websites and betting shops;
  • Premium rate websites and phone lines, including TV voting, competitions and adult services.

Customers will not be able to block specific retailers, but instead decide which categories of spending are allowed.


Jane Tully, director of external affairs at the Money Advice Trust, said: “The fact that a growing number of banks are giving customers greater control over their spending by allowing them to block payments on gambling is a welcome step forward.


“It is positive to see technology being used to meet the needs of customers, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances and I am pleased to see more banks following the lead set by Monzo, Starling and Barclays in this area.


“It will be important for banks to review the impact of these controls and how much ‘friction’ is required to ensure they meet their intended purpose. We look forward to continuing to work with the credit industry on supporting customers in vulnerable circumstances.”

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