Halifax has become the latest UK bank to encourage responsible gambling, after rolling out various features to prevent harmful habits.
Should they choose to, customers will be able to stop their debit and credit cards from being used for both brick-and-mortar and online wagering. Once opted in, individuals can’t unfreeze their cards for 48 hours. This is so that they can have “thinking time, to ensure that their decision isn’t made in haste or under duress”.
Halifax has a broader strategy to protect its customers from the potential dangers of gambling. As part of this, both training for customer-focused employees and additional online information have been offered.
Elyn Corfield, Managing Director of Consumer Finance at Halifax, said:
“We know that people who gamble a higher proportion of their income are more likely to face financial pressure. So, we’ve introduced the freeze tool to help them manage that.
Importantly, by introducing a defrost period, we’re helping to protect those that might otherwise make an impulsive return to gambling.”
Since Barclays became the first high street bank in Britain to switch off transactions at certain outlets, others have done likewise. HSBC introduced gambling prevention tools of its own not long ago. Lloyds, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander also have their own versions.
Meanwhile, iGaming affiliates have made moves to support responsible gambling this year. These include the use of technology to identify potential arising problems, along with providing free ad-blocking tools.
In a bid to analyse how harmful gambling can be, Halifax has collaborated with Warwick University to conduct further research about this. It’s expected that the findings will be soon shared with the Gambling Commission, as well as other external organisations.