The major UK bank said it was introducing the function as part of a trial.
UK.- Lloyds Bank has announced that its customers will be able to set personalised limits on how much they spend each month on gambling using their debit card. The option is being run as a trial through its app.
The feature allows people using the Lloyds Bank mobile app to set a monthly debit card gambling limit of any amount to the nearest pound, for spending online, in person or over the phone. Limits can be set or changed within the mobile app
The bank says the system is the first of its kind for a UK high-street bank. It highlighted research from the Gambling Commission that showed that approximately one in three UK adults participate in gambling excluding lotteries, and up to 3 per cent are estimated to be at some risk of harm due to their gambling (0.3 per cent is considered to be ‘problem’ gambling).
Lloyds Bank said its own research had found that 50 per cent of people would like banks to take further action to help prevent gambling harm. It said monthly gambling limits were one of the most supported features among respondents.
It said the trial was being launched to understand how helpful customers find the ability to set a monthly limit, alongside the existing ability to freeze gambling transactions completely. The bank had already introduced the ability to freeze all gambling payments in November 2019.
This blocks all gambling payments and has the option of a ‘defrost’ period, which means customers can remove the block when they wish but must wait 48 hours before they can spend on gambling. Lloyds noted that while the freeze service is available on both Lloyds Bank debit and credit cards, the limit setting is available on debit cards only, although gambling with credit cards has been banned in the UK.
Lloyds said the ability to set monthly limits gives customers more control in budgeting how much they spend on gambling. It noted that the limit can be adjusted or removed at any time and will automatically roll on each month until it is removed.
Philip Robinson, director for personal current accounts at Lloyds Bank, said: “For several years, we’ve helped our customers “turn off” gambling spend. Our newest feature lets customers set a personalised gambling spend limit, helping them better manage their money and establish boundaries around certain spending behaviour.”
GamCare CEO Anna Hemmings said: “As many households are having to think more carefully about their budgets, the launch by Lloyds Bank of its new in-app gambling spend limit feature will give those most vulnerable to gambling harms an important means of controlling their gambling – and preventing harms from escalating. This tool complements the range of existing support features that we can recommend to people reaching out for help.”
Monzo was one of the first banks to introduce a complete gambling block in the UK. Since then several have followed suit. This year, PayPal entered into an agreement with Gamban to offer US and UK users a method to block gambling payments via the payment platform.