Monzo: Consumer use of gambling blocking tools increases

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Monzo: Consumer use of gambling blocking tools increases
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The increase in costs of living has prompted many more people to gamble, but it’s not all bad, argues Monzo, an online bank in the United Kingdom, which has taken a detailed stock of the market and noticed that consumers are increasingly turning to gambling-blocking tools to control their spending and habits. Monzo itself is a pioneer in the field.

The online bank has reported that 50,000 consumers made use of its blocking tool that prohibits them from accessing specific products, such as gambling websites, over the past six months.

According to the bank, the number between the first six-month period and the latest one points to third more players using the tool. Monzo was able to block 20% more transactions compared to the previous surveyed period, the bank reported.

Monzo’s tool is readily accessible to consumers and not too restrictive, but it does account for compulsory behavior and has safeguards in place to ensure that customers are protected. For example, anyone can roll in and out of the self-exclusion tool, but it takes a call to customer support and a 48-hour waiting period for the exclusion to be lifted.

Monzo may further ask for additional information from customers if it doubts that someone may be spending too erratically or may be showing signs of addiction. This comes at a time when NGOs in the gambling sector, such as GambleAware, have sounded an alarm that the coming months may see more people join online gambling, feeling pressured by the mounting costs of living.

The organization called December a "perfect storm," saying that people tend to gamble more during the holiday festivities and not least, because of the ongoing FIFA World Cup. Still, the private sector has shown a willingness to act, with much of the intuition coming from online banks.

Banks for the purposes of gambling. Then, Monzo became the first online lender to actually introduce a self-exclusion tool, an ambitious undertaking that soon prompted banking giants in the sector to consider similar solutions.

Banks such as Lloyds Bank, Chase, and NatWest all have similar self-restriction options that allow consumers to be in control of their gambling habits. Interestingly, Monzo argues that at least 500,000 customers have used its game-blocking features since the tool was launched in 2018, making a very compelling argument for the introduction of such tools on all levels.

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