Barclays app limits spending on gambling

Business News

Mobile banking customers with Barclays can now choose to block their ability to spend with gambling companies, in a move which could put people struggling with addictions more in control of their finances.

The new feature launched by Barclays could help those dealing with gambling problems, for example, to cut off their spending in betting shops and on gambling websites.

Barclays said it has developed the tool to turn off certain types of spending with vulnerable customers in mind.

A button within the Barclays mobile banking app enables customers to choose which types of retailers they are able to spend with.

Attempted payments that fall within the “turned off” category will be automatically declined.

The bank’s work has used research from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute set up by consumer champion Martin Lewis.

Mr Lewis said he hopes other banks will follow suit.

He said: “Mental health and debt is a marriage made in hell. Many with mental health issues struggle to control their spending through gambling, and I commonly hear from people with thousands of pounds of debt as a result.

“This is one reason why I set up the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute charity, and its detailed research shows the power of giving people more options for control tools that can add friction to this type of spending.”