Sun, Mar 1, 1:32pm by Mia Chapman
Australian banks have been addressing gambling in their official customer policies in the past several years.
Casino Aus reports that some have blocked gambling transactions completely and others are in the process of seeking public feedback.
National Australia Bank, however, decided to take a unique angle by giving their customers the option of blocking gambling transactions.
On February 21, NAB announced that it will give all of their retail banking customers the option to restrict most gambling transactions.
This expands a process started in December for customers with some cards in some formats.
Customers using the NAB Visa credit or debit card via Android and iOS devices, can now easily block all gambling transactions through the app very easily.
The feature, now rolled out on all new versions of the app, was a result of Australian Gambling statistics released last December.
Of all gambling expenditures in 2017-18, nearly $25 billion of it was related to gambling.
And that was a five per cent year-on-year increase.
NAB chief customer experience officer Rachel Slade noted: “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.”
Slade added that more than 10,000 customers have used the restriction since its initial rollout in December.
This, she said, highlights “the importance of offering easy-to-use tools for customers to manage their finances.”
NAB customers must download the latest version of the NAB app to make use of the feature.
Once logged in, they can go to My Cards and Usage Controls, where they can disable gambling transactions.
This will implement the block on all transactions when using a NAB Visa debit or credit card linked to that account.
It prohibits cash transfers and cash advance for those accounts.
Further, it blocks transactions relating to sports betting, casino games, lottery tickets and online gambling activity.
People can also restrict gambling over others for whom they hold the power of attorney, though that requires a special application through a customer support representative.
The gambling block can also be removed at any time through the app or customer service department, and it takes 48 hours to complete the request.
This prohibits people who previously requested the restriction from making rash decisions.
We’re making it easier for customers to take control over their finances, becoming the first Australian bank to offer the option to block gambling transactions via it’s app. https://t.co/SAVBpMv0hd
— NAB (@NAB) February 21, 2020
The UK Gambling Commission is banning people from using credit cards to place bets in an attempt to curb problem gambling.
The BBC reported in January that the ban, which starts on 14 April, comes after reviews of the industry by the commission and the government.
A total of 24 million adults in Britain gamble, with 10.5 million of those doing so online.
Separate commission research shows that 22 per cent of online gamblers using credit cards are classed as problem gamblers.
Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur said: “Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm.
“The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.
“We also know that there are examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability.
“There is also evidence that the fees charged by credit cards can exacerbate the situation because the consumer can try to chase losses to a greater extent,” Mr McArthur said.
Culture Minister Helen Whately said: “Whilst millions gamble responsibly, I have also met people whose lives have been turned upside down by gambling addiction.
“There is clear evidence of harm from consumers betting with money they do not have, so it is absolutely right that we act decisively to protect them.”
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