223,000 Monzo customers activate gambling block feature

Monzo has revealed that 223,000 of its customers have activated its gambling block feature.

The digital bank Monzo has revealed that 223,000 of its customers have used its gambling block feature.

In a report on AltFi, Monzo confirmed that approximately 5% of its total customer base had activated the bank’s gambling block feature.

The digital bank highlighted that the number of users taking advantage of the feature has more than doubled in the past year. This year an average of 2,314 customers each week, have activated the gambling block feature for the first time. Monzo also revealed that about 8% of customers that activated the feature for the first time later disabled it.

In August 2019, 17,474 bankers activated the feature making it the month with the largest number of new customers to use the feature. The bank chalked this up to exposure from the media.

Monzo’s gambling block feature

The digital bank first introduced its gambling block feature just over two years ago in June 2018.

When Monzo first announced the introduction of the gambling block feature, the bank said it was part of a wider initiative to help its customers who are vulnerable to financial debt.

After introducing the feature, Monzo, in collaboration with GambleAware, estimated that about 5,000 of its users would be identified as problem gamblers.

When activated, the block feature lets users stop transactions to bookmakers, both online and in-person, and places limits on cash withdrawals.

If a customer wants to turn the feature off, they must first go through a 48-hour cooling-off period and may even have to speak to someone on the customer support team with the aim of deterring problem gambling.

GambleAware publishes research on gambling blockers

Earlier this month, the charity GambleAware published research by the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre (PRFC) which stated that about 60% of UK current accounts have access to blocking services.

GambleAware called on the government, financial institutions, and regulatory bodies to ensure all consumers have the ability to block gambling transactions after the study found that 28m personal bank accounts do not have access to this function.

The report noted the effectiveness of the current blocking tools and said that while they work, improvements are required to provide a greater level of consumer protection.

Of those banks that offer blocking technology, three blockers can be turned on or off immediately, therefore acting as more of a lock function rather than a blocker. Some customers also found a way around the blockers in order to continue gambling.

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