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UK banking giant Barclays has become the first bank in the country to allow users to block gambling related transactions, providing an important tool to control addictive gambling behaviors.
The feature is located on the Barclays Mobile Banking app, and will allow customers to block lottery ticket purchases, transactions at casinos and race tracks, retail shops, and online betting sites. The product has been developed with some outside firms such as Money Advice Trust. In addition to gambling, other transactions can also be blocked for pubs, restaurants, shopping sites, and more. The product was developed to give clients control of their money, while also helping to prevent being scammed.
Commenting on the launch Barclays Managing Director for Transaction, Insurance, and Mass Market Products Catherine McGrath said, "We work with a range of advisors and partners, as well as consulting with our customers, to identify how our customers' needs are changing and what works for them. This new control feature is the latest new service that we have introduced in the Barclays Mobile Banking app that aims to give all of our customers a better way to manage their money in a simple, secure and effective way."
GambleAware's CEO Marc Etches was impressed by the new product, lauding it for its responsible gaming uses. "There are 340,000 problem gamblers in Britain and a further 1.7m at risk, and initiatives like this can play an important role in helping to reduce gambling-related harms," he said. "There are no limits to stakes and prizes for online gambling, and credit cards are allowed so it is important to make it easier for people to control their spending."