Australian bank and financial services provider Westpac has introduced a real-time gambling block in its online and mobile banking platforms, allowing customers to restrict their spend with gambling firms.
Westpac customers can apply the block to any personal Westpac credit or debit card, where the transaction is processed through Mastercard.
The real-time gambling block follows other recent measures aimed at improving customer safety within digital banking, including blocking inappropriate language from outgoing payments, and allowing customers the opportunity to report abusive messages.
“The new feature complements our existing service where customers can also call us to request a gambling block to be applied to their card to stop certain transactions, including at casinos, sports betting agencies and online gambling,” said Catherine Fitzpatrick, Westpac director of customer vulnerability and financial resilience.
“We know that problem gambling is a serious community issue. The introduction of the digital gambling block is a further step in providing customers choice and convenience to manage their spending.”
Fitzpatrick added that the new feature is already benefiting customers who need help with the issue, saying: “The flexibility and ease of being able to apply an instant block through digital banking have meant more than 2,500 customers have already accessed this new feature since it went live last month.”