As the cost of living crisis continues to grip consumers’ purse strings, Monzo has revealed that there has been a spike in people utilising its gambling block tool.
The online bank has stated that around 50,000 of its customers have activated its gambling block tool for the first time over the past six months, a third more than people who stated they were using it over the previous period.
Furthermore, during the same six month timeframe, the lender stated that it had blocked 20 per cent more transactions.
Monzo’s Head of Vulnerability, Access and Inclusion, Natalie Ledward, noted: “Amid the cost-of-living crisis, we know that tools like our gambling block are more important than ever in providing customers with much needed support.
“It’s a great example of the kind of tools banks can put in place to help vulnerable customers.”
Monzo’s tool, which is optional, aids users to curb gambling spend by blocking transactions to a betting company through their current account. This works by grouping transactions into a certain spending category, allowing banks to detect if a transaction is going to a gambling merchant.
Once switched on, customers can only turn it off by contacting the customer support team and then waiting 48 hours to disable it in the app.
Other big banks have followed the lead of Monzo, which was the first UK bank to launch the block in June 2018, with the likes of Lloyds Bank, NatWest and Chase introducing similar features on their mobile apps.
Last month, Lloyds Bank also introduced personalised gambling spend limits for its customers.
The latest figures from Monzo comes after GambleAware raised “serious concerns” that people expect to gamble more in the coming months to supplement household income that has been wiped due to the rise in inflation.
Furthermore, the charity warned that the ongoing FIFA World Cup, the cost-of-living crisis and the festive period could lead to a “perfect storm” potentially pushing more consumers towards betting.
GambleAware has also highlighted women as being of particular risk, whilst other charities have asserted that there has been a rise in harmful gambling in line with cost of living pressures worsening in the UK.
In the past month, London-listed gambling firms have seen its share prices rise with Flutter’s increasing by a third in the past three months and Entain witnessing a seven per cent growth.