The number of customers using the gambling block made available by UK digital bank Monzo has more than doubled over the last year, according to AltFi.
Just under 223,000 users in total have now made use of the feature, which was first introduced in June 2018.
The figure represents around 5% of Monzo’s overall customer base.
More than 2,300 people on average have activated the feature this year for the first time.
Monzo gambling block popular with customers
Through the Monzo gambling block, users are able to control their gambling spending habits in multiple ways. These include stopping related online and land-based transactions, along with limiting how much cash they can withdraw.
The highest number of gambling blocker activations came in August 2019, when 17,474 customers opted to utilise the feature. According to the bank, this was a result of increased media coverage related to it.
Upon the introduction of the gambling block just over two years ago, Monzo estimated that around 5,000 of its customers were problem gamblers.
Stringent measures to protect consumers
While it is possible for Monzo customers to switch off the gambling controls, it’s by no means as easy as flicking a switch. They first have to undergo a 48-hour cooling period, along with speaking to a customer support team member.
GambleAware recently found that 60% of bank account holders in the UK had access to gambling protection measures. However, some could be switched on and off with minimal friction. The charity referred to some banks’ player protection features as “more like a light switch than a lock”.
Monzo first introduced its gambling protection features as part of wider plans to help customers who were at risk of financial difficulty. According to research from GambleAware at that time, 80% of individuals who have sought help for gambling addiction have also said that they were in debt.