How it works
Every time you spend on your Monzo card, the transaction is tagged with information about what you're spending money on. This is how we build tools like spending categories for helping you budget. Every time you spend money with a gambling operator, the transaction is tagged with a gambling merchant category code (MCC). When you turn the gambling block on, we decline any gambling transactions before they go through.
Unfortunately, sometimes transactions aren’t tagged with the correct information and if this happens you’ll still be charged. If you let us know, we'll add the merchant to our gambling block so it doesn’t happen again.
Turning it on and off
You can turn on the block yourself in the app. We know that the decision to gamble can often be an impulsive one, so we’ll ask you to make some extra effort if you want to remove the restrictions.
You’ll need to initiate your cooldown period, and we’ll also show you a reminder message if you set one up. If you’ve spoken to us about any struggles with gambling before you’ll need to talk to someone in our customer support team first too. We might use that conversation to ask you questions like, “Has your situation changed since you first switched on the restrictions?” to help you think through your reasons for turning it off.
If you decide that you do want to turn off the block, we’ll ask you to wait your full cooldown period. We hope this added ‘friction’ gives you a little time and space to work out whether the decision to gamble again is the right one for you.
Time to cool down
We designed the gambling block with our customers, industry experts and experts by experience. When you’re setting up the gambling block, you are given the option to write yourself a reminder of why you’re setting one up. We’ll show you this if you try to remove the gambling block, but it’s optional.
We also ask you to set up a cooldown period. This bit isn’t optional. You can set your cooldown to be anything from 2 days, to 1 year giving you the time you need to cool down.
If you decide that you do want to turn off the block, you’ll need to wait out your cooldown period before you can switch it off from the app yourself.
We understand that gambling more than you'd like can have a wider impact on your health and financial wellbeing, so we have a specialist support team who can discuss your situation and talk you through everything we can offer to help you with your Monzo account, as well as point you in the direction of external organisations who can support you too. We can also discuss other measures we can help you put on your account to offer more protection, such as spending limit reductions. The gambling block works best alongside other methods of self exclusion, such as blocking software and self exclusion programmes like GAMSTOP.
Our campaign to improve gambling protections for everyone in the UK
In 2018 we researched, developed and launched a feature that allows our customers to block gambling transactions. It was the first of its kind, offering a friction based banking tool to help people with gambling addiction to self exclude. Now around 90% of banks offer this feature, and over 700,000 Monzo customers have used it. We’ve teamed up with charities, academics and NHS clinicians to ask the government to make sure everyone can access a gambling block, no matter who they bank with.