NAB is providing new ways for customers to take greater control over their finances, becoming the first Australian bank to offer the option to block gambling transactions via its app.
All retail banking customers with NAB Visa Credit or NAB Visa Debit cards can now restrict most gambling transactions with immediate effect - with just one touch.
The gambling block capability was first implemented via iOS devices in December 2019, and has now been expanded to Android devices. NAB also remains the only major Australian bank to offer a restriction option on debit cards.
NAB Chief Customer Experience Officer Rachel Slade said the new app feature would support Australians in controlling their financial future. In December, the latest annual Australian Gambling Statistics report revealed almost $25 billion of gambling expenditure in 2017-18, with this figure rising by around 5 per cent on the year prior.
“It’s very easy to place a bet, so there’s real value in giving people the option to plan ahead and control their spending. This tool is designed to put the choice in the hands of our customers,” Ms Slade said.
“Since commencing the roll-out in December we have seen more than 10,000 customers turn on the restriction, highlighting the importance of offering easy-to-use tools for customers to manage their finances.”
The new app capability comes as Australians continue to face significant budgeting challenges, with the NAB Australian Wellbeing Survey, released Wednesday, revealing rising financial anxiety and one in four Australians experiencing some form of financial stress or hardship over the past three months.
“We’re making it easier for customers to take greater control over their money,” Ms Slade said.
“We also recognise problem gambling remains a major challenge affecting the community, and one that requires organisations, governments, and the community to work together to effectively address.”
NAB will continue to offer new opportunities for customers to improve their financial health and wellbeing, with other recent actions including offering a free credit health check for all Australians, launching ‘My Goals’ to track progress on personal savings ambitions and providing SMS reminders for credit card payments.
Customers need to have the latest version of the app to be able to access the feature. It blocks most gambling transactions, including sports betting, casino games, lottery tickets and online gambling - more details at nab.com.au/gamblingrestriction.
In March 2019, NAB first rolled out a gambling restriction service, which gave customers the option to call NAB Customer Support on 1300 308 175 to block most gambling transactions. This service is active.
The Customer Support team is set up to assist any customers experiencing vulnerability, including when gambling is the cause, and can refer customers to a specialist gambling financial counsellor if appropriate (via Uniting’s CareRing program).
The restriction can be removed via the NAB App or by calling NAB Customer Support, however there will be a delayed reactivation of 48 hours during which time the request to reactivate can be cancelled.
The Australian Banking Association recently released a discussion paper on the use of credit cards for gambling and the role of banks in addressing problem gambling and is currently seeking public feedback.