We're extending our Open Banking gambling block

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We’re opening up our Open Banking-powered gambling block to all Open Banking providers, following a pilot last year with Truelayer.

This extension will let all licensed UK Open Banking firms to integrate with our block, to help strengthen the protection we give our customers struggling to control their gambling spending. It’ll help our customers not only stop them themselves from making card payments to gambling firms, but Open Banking ones too.

If you haven't heard of Open Banking before, it's a new technology that lets you share your data between financial services, and gives you a new way to initiate payments. Typically, we use it for things like letting you see your other bank account balances in Monzo.

When we launched our gambling block, we only focussed on card payments.

Back in 2018, we launched the first friction driven card based gambling block, following requests from customers who wanted help controlling their gambling spend. It lets customers request to block card transactions made to gambling providers from their account.

To remove the block, a customer needs to speak to our Customer Operations team and wait 48 hours as a cooling-off period. Since then, over 400,000 customers have chosen to activate a gambling block on their account. And less than 10% of them have ever switched it off permanently.

But, with more and more UK gamblers using Open Banking to top up their gambling accounts, we realised that we needed to take action. 

Early last year, we piloted the first-ever gambling block to cover Open Banking-initiated payments with TrueLayer. This let us stop Open Banking transactions made via TrueLayer to gambling companies for users with the gambling block turned on. 

And now, we’re opening the block up for all Open Banking providers in the UK. That means that, if other providers integrate, we’ll be able to prevent gambling transactions made by any Open Banking provider in the UK, not just TrueLayer. 

The extended block is a start - but it relies on the rest of industry to step up and make it work. 

This block only works if Open Banking providers agree to integrate with it. The information to do so is available for all licensed providers, and published online here. It’s free, quick and easy to build, but over the next few months we’ll be working to try and get as many providers as possible to integrate. 

Check out the full technical specification.

If you’re an Open Banking provider that works with gambling firms, and are willing to integrate with us, please get in touch.