Barclays Adds Cooling Off Period To Gambling Block Feature

Barclays has added a cooling-off time delay to its gambling block functionality, designed to provide additional help to those individuals who seek greater control over their spending on gambling sites and apps or in venues.

As a result , customers accessing the feature will have to wait 72 hours until they can make gambling payments, during which time they would immediately reject any attempted transactions.

The improvement comes as a result of consumer input, hailed as “the first UK high-street bank to introduce a cooling off period of this length,”  Over the coming weeks the new time delay feature will be available.

GamCare chief executive Anna Hemmings said of the development: “The ability to block gambling transactions through your bank card or app is incredibly helpful to those struggling to control their gambling, and is ideally used together with other practical tools such as self-exclusion, blocking software, and specialist support and treatment around the issue.

“A recent report from the University of Bristol Personal Finance Research Centre has also highlighted that ‘positive friction’ such as a cooling off period can be even more helpful for users, as this gives time for reflection.

“GamCare is pleased to see Barclays take this positive step to support their customers and we hope more of the financial sector follows suit.”

Customers need to go into the cards section of their app to reach the cooling off block, where they can find the gambling block inside the merchant control area.

A pop-up will appear after switching gambling back on, telling consumers that if they want to turn on this form of spending, they will have to wait 72 hours until they can make payments.

Sian McIntyre, Barclays managing director, commented: “We are always looking for new ways to support our customers and make it easier for them to manage their finances.

“Customer feedback on our gambling control showed us there was more we could do to help and we’ve worked closely with them to design the solution. Our customers have told us this 72 hour time delay gives them a real pause for thought and helps when they are tempted to return to gambling.”

Barclays’ gambling control feature has been used over 570,000 times since the first launch of the option to turn off spending on gambling transactions in December 2018.