Monzo is stepping up its mission to help customers struggling with gambling addiction, teaming up with TrueLayer to extend the block to Open Banking-enabled payments.
Monzo was the first bank to launch a gambling block back in June 2018, which has so far been used by over 275,000 customers to stop card transactions to gambling merchant accounts.
Other banks have since copied the move, which works by blocking card payments to specific ‘merchant category codes’, assigned by card schemes. These codes let the bank know what type of business their customer is trying to pay, before they send their money.
However, the codes only apply to card payments - not open banking powered payments.
Under the new initiative, TrueLayer will automatically let Monzo know, via an enhanced API call, any time their customer attempts an Open Banking payment transfer to a gambling firm specifically. This additional data access lets Monzo stop the payment on the customers’ behalf if they have their gambling block activated.
"This is a relatively straightforward change that Monzo and TrueLayer engineers were able to build in a few days," says the bank." But it could make a huge difference for those struggling with gambing addiction."
The introduction of the new tool follows the release of an open letter earlier this week from Monzo chief TS Anil, which called on the UK Government to mandate the use of gambling access blocks on all UK bank accounts.