Barclays Is Beefing Gambling Block Feature with Cooling off Period

Barclays is implementing a cooling off period for its customers who elect to switch off their gambling-related transactions. The new feature that will make customers wait for at least 72 hours before they can resume with gambling payments will be introduced in the coming weeks.

In December 2018, Barclays introduced a protective option for its clients to allow them to self-exclude from gambling by turning off gambling transactions, and the feature has been used more than 570,000 times ever since. During the coronavirus-induced lockdown only, the bank’s gambling block has been activated 187,000 times.

“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.”

Anna Hemmings, Chief Executive, GamCare

The new 72-hour time delay that Barclays will be adding to the feature will further improve the ability of its customers to control their gambling behavior as it comes after careful consideration of clients’ feedback. Any attempts to make a transaction on gambling websites, apps or venues before this period’s expiration will be automatically declined by the bank.

“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.”

Sian McIntyre, Managing Director, Barclays

Whenever customers decide to switch gambling back on after activating the feature, a pop-up window will show on the screen reminding them that they will need to wait for the cooling period to expire before making any payments to gambling operators.

“We’ve long campaigned for banks to offer customers gambling blocks with a ‘cooling off’ period, as this can make a huge difference in helping people stay in control of gambling and avoid serious financial problems. We’re delighted that Barclays has taken this step and hope that other banks will follow suit.”

Katie Alpin, Interim Chief Executive, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute

Barclays is one of the banks which take gambling harm prevention seriously, as there are other control tools at the disposal of its customers, among which setting a spending limit for a single transaction, cash withdrawal limits as well as complete temporary freeze of cards when clients feel they are losing the grip on their spending entirely.

Barclays also has a gambling support page where it provides guidelines for its customers how to realize they are getting out of control. Feeling stressed or worried, getting into debt or struggling to pay for food and bills due to money being spent on gambling are among the signs mentioned on the bank’s support page.

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