Digital bank Monzo has announced that its gambling block feature has been enabled by 223,000 of its customers, with the number of users over doubling in the past year.
Reported on AltFi, the digital bank stated that in addition to restricting cash withdrawals, about 5 percent of its total customer base had enabled the gambling block feature that allows users to avoid both in-person and online transactions to bookmakers.
This year the function was first triggered by an average of 2,314 people per week. The bank also stated that it was disabled by approximately eight per cent of customers who first activated the feature.
The biggest increase in customers signing up to the feature was seen in August 2019 with 17,474 bankers activating the gambling block. The bank attributed the increase to increased media attention.
To deactivate the feature, customers must experience a cooling off period of 48 hours, as well as discuss their decision with the customer service team.
After the launch of the app, Monzo estimated that approximately 5,000 of its users will be classified as problem gamblers, in partnership with GambleAware. The digital bank emphasised that the feature was part of a larger effort to help its financially impacted customers.
This July, GambleAware released approved research by the Personal Finance Research Center (PFRC) at the University of Bristol, reporting that blocking services represented around 60 percent of UK current accounts.
Amid strong bank take-up in providing blocking services, GambleAware reported that it had found numerous weaknesses in the manner in which applications were designed, labelling safeguards as ‘more like a light switch than a lock.’
Following its report, GambleAware presented a guide to UK Finance to support incumbents in the banking sector, outlining how to ensure disadvantaged customers are not engaged with gambling services.