Cashplus, the leading UK bank challenger, has announced the launch of an industry-first credit card gambling block, allowing customers to ‘switch off’ all transactions with bookmakers, casinos and other gambling merchants.
The company, which has registered over 1.5m customers in the UK, has also made its current account gambling block feature available as a ‘one-click’ option within its websites and apps and introduced ATM withdrawal blocking. This feature provides a further point of ‘friction’ for customers when used in conjunction with the gambling block.
Gambling with credit is seen as a key issue by many campaign groups, with an industry consultation due to be carried out in the coming months.
Lord Chadlington, former chairman of Action on Addiction and long-time campaigner on safer gambling said, “I’m pleased that firms like Cashplus and others are taking positive action to protect those at risk. Action is urgently needed on gambling with credit, so voluntary restrictions from banks and other providers are a welcome first step.”
Cashplus chief operating officer, Paul Schooley said, “There is a wider discussion around credit and gambling, but our role is to offer choice where customers want or need it. We believe better banking services can genuinely improve everyday life and we’ll continue to work hard on building features that make a difference.”
Initially, the credit card blocking tool is available by request through Cashplus’ telephone service centre with activation by the following day, the block will also take 24 hours to remove upon request. The tool can be used for personal and business credit cards, meaning business owners can easily prevent company credit being used for gambling by fraud or misuse.
Schooley added: “The new credit card block, in-app current account blocking and the ATM withdrawal blocker all offer customers easy ways to restrict gambling spending, whether that’s a person struggling with addiction or someone who wants to safeguard their business.”
Tony Franklin, a campaigner with Gambling Hurts said, “I’m delighted that Cashplus is leading the way with credit card blocking and offering customers an easier way to restrict gambling transactions from their current accounts and now from their credit card as well.
“This functionality, along with the possibility to restrict ATM withdrawals within its app, shows a welcome commitment to helping customers take control of their finances.
“With the number of gambling addicts in the UK estimated at 430,000 with a further 2m at risk, this functionality can offer real and practical help as part of seeking out help to stop.”