In an Australian first, NAB his rolled out an option to block gambling transactions on its Visa Debit and Visa Credit cards via its apps, to help Australians better manage their personal finances.
NAB first introduced the option to block gambling transactions – including sports betting, casino games, lottery tickets and online gambling – via phone banking in March 2019. The option was added to NAB’s app for iOS devices in December 2019, and has now also been rolled out to Android devices, allowing NAB’s retail banking customers to block most gambling transactions with just a touch.
While other banks have also taken steps to restrict gambling transactions – Macquarie Bank blocking gambling and lottery transactions on its credit cards, for example – NAB claims to be the only major Australian bank to offer a restriction option on debit cards.
NAB chief customer experience officer, Rachel Slade, said that the feature is designed to support Australians in controlling their spending. This was in light of a December 2019 Australian Gambling Statistics report from the Queensland Treasury, which said Australians spent almost $25 billion on gambling in 2017-18 – around 5 per cent more than the year before.
“Since commencing the roll-out in December we have seen more than 10,000 customers turn on the restriction, highlighting the importance of offering easy-to-use tools for customers to manage their finances.”
The roll out of the gambling block feature follows the recent release of the NAB Australian Wellbeing Survey, which found that one in four Australians experienced some form of financial stress or hardship over the past three months.
If you or someone you know is affected by problem gambling, consider contacting a financial counsellor for support. You could also consider contacting your bank to ask what options are available.