Much has been made of gambling transactions recently, with the UKGC placing a ban on all credit card transactions for online betting sites. However, currently, debit cards are still very much allowed – and the most popular way to top up accounts. However, NatWest is taking responsible gambling into their own hands by placing a 48-hour cooling-off period on any gambling transactions. So, what does this new rule mean for NatWest cardholders? Well, this means that NatWest customers have the option to trigger a 48-hour cooling-off period, which they can do using the Natwest mobile app. This means that any betting transactions that they make in this time, NatWest will automatically decline. This block will then stay in place until the customer makes a choice to remove it. They can disable the block only after 48-hours have passed.
Helping Customers Stay Safe.
NatWest has stated that the reason they have put this procedure into place is to help customer control their money better – especially when it comes to online gambling. They said that after adding the cooling-off period, they saw a significant drop in online betting spending during the lockdown period. However, this hasn’t lasted. They have said that since the government eased lockdown restrictions, the spend on online betting has increased a lot. In fact, compared to September last year, the spend was around 32% more.
The CEO of NatWest, David Lindberg, said that this new measure will help gamblers that are experiencing problems across the UK as it gives them an extra tool for protection. The bank has an ongoing relationship with GamCare, and this is very important to them.
It is no secret that gambling problems and financial problems are inextricably linked and they believe that their job, as a financial institution, is to help their customers as much as possible. Recently, they have offered help to customers with gambling issues by providing trained specialists to help and offering branch space for treatment. NatWest continues to develop the relationship with GamCare and giving customers access to even more help.
Helping NatWest Help Customers
In the last few years, NatWest has taken its responsibilities to its customer very seriously. Last year, they started offering support, advice and help to gamblers and family of gamblers who were having trouble. This saw them giving the option of blocking credit card transactions – which has since been adopted by all banks under the UKGC with the nationwide credit card ban. As well as this, they also offer specialist training to their own support teams on haw to spot gambling problems and support those who suffered harm from gambling.
The CEO of GamCare, Anna Hemmings, was very supportive of this move, saying that this new gambling cool down period is an important tool for anyone struggling with issues. It can also be used alongside other responsible gambling measures such as self-exclusion and blocking software. This gambling cooling off period is essential as it cuts down on the urges to gamble, giving the customer time to think clearly outside of the initial impulse.
This is a very strong message that NatWest is putting out there, and advocated of Responsible Gambling hope that other banks follow suit.