In March 2019, the National Australia Bank (NAB), one of the country’s Big Four incumbent banking institutions, announced the roll-out of a special feature that gave its iOS customers the ability to block gambling transactions. These included sports betting, casino games, online betting, and even lottery tickets. Now, this feature has also been rolled out to Android users.
Since it was launched, the feature has been embraced by over 10,000 thousand users and this number is definitely going to grow even further with Android users now on board. Even though it was announced in March of last year, the feature was implemented in December. Putting that into consideration, it is quite easy to see that many people were eagerly waiting for its arrival.
To use the feature, the NAB customers will need to have the very latest versions of the app.
A Huge Step Up
Self-regulation when it comes to gambling in Australia is very important and several banks and financial institutions have been adding more tools to help their customers in that regard. Before adding the gambling block feature to its app, the National Australia Bank allowed its customers to block transactions by calling customer support. Needless to say, this might be a little tedious for some people and therefore better mechanisms were needed.
Now that customers can restrict gambling transactions on mobile devices, everything has gotten much easier. In addition to being able to block gambling transactions, the customers will also still have the option of removing those restrictions. This will be subject to a 48-hour buffer period.
“It’s very easy to place a bet, so there’s real value in giving people the option to plan ahead and control their spending. This tool is designed to put the choice in the hands of our customers,” NAB Chief Customer Experience Officer Rachel Slade.
The gambling block feature is just the beginning though. NAB intends to add even more features that are designed to protect the financial health and well-being of all its customers. Several other banks in the country are also starting to double down on similar efforts.
Gambling in Australia
Recent studies of the Australian gambling landscape have revealed that hundreds of thousands of the country’s residents suffer from problem gambling. Many others are also at risk of financial and gambling-related harm. The activity is widespread and this can be attributed to the increased accessibility of gambling sites and supported financial services. This has made it quite easy for the gamblers to get carried away
As such, the introduction of such features as the NAB’s gambling transaction block will go a long way in promoting responsible gambling. Other measures will also need to be implemented but this is definitely a great start.