Available via mobile app
British banking brand Halifax has introduced a new feature that provides consumers protection from problems related to gambling.
essentially freezing a card from processing gambling transactions
The ‘gambling card freeze’ feature has been added to the Halifax mobile app. The app can control debit and credit card use, essentially freezing a card from processing gambling transactions.
Freeze and defrost
This gambling card freeze feature allows customers to manage their money responsibly when connected to wagering. With the app, consumers can apply the freeze to their debit and/or credit cards. The decision to freeze connects to a ‘defrost’ period.
The 48-hour period gives customers the time to think about their decision. The goal is to ensure the change is not made under duress. Halifax created the new feature as part of their initiative to protect customers from harm related to gambling activities.
The bank brand has teamed up with Warwick University to analyze the impact of problem gambling. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and other organizations can expect the full details of the study once it has been concluded.
Elyn Corfield, managing director of consumer finance at Halifax, stated that the company knows that people who gamble a larger portion of their income are more likely to face financial pressure. Ms. Corfield said:
By also introducing a defrost period, we’re helping to protect those who might otherwise make an impulsive return to gambling.”
Helping problem gamblers
The United Kingdom has the largest regulated iGaming market in the world. Because of this, additional safety measures are provided by financial institutions like Halifax.
The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board of the UK Gambling Commission advises that when borrowed money is used to gamble, it increases the risk that the consumer will gamble more than they can afford.
With the new app feature by Halifax and those introduced by other financial institutions, consumers have an additional way to protect themselves.
HSBC provides a gambling block option that can be reversed. Once activated, players must wait 24 hours before the decision can be reversed. Like the Halifax app, the wait time allows players to think about their decision to use their bank for gambling.