Barclays has become the first High Street bank to allow its customers to “switch off” certain types of spending on their debit cards.
The idea is to help vulnerable customers, particularly problem gamblers, or those in serious debt.
However, all account holders can now block their own spending in a number of categories, including supermarkets, restaurants, pubs and petrol stations.
It follows pressure from charities and money experts such as Martin Lewis.
How does it work?
Customers are not able to block specific retailers, but instead can decide which categories of spending are allowed.
- Groceries and supermarkets
- Restaurants, takeaways, pubs and bars
- Petrol stations
- Gambling – including websites, betting shops and lottery tickets
- Premium rate websites and phone lines, including TV voting, competitions and adult services
Customers who want to select any of the categories above can do so via the Barclays app (see below). However, they will need to download the latest version of it.
It is also possible to phone the bank, or go into a branch.
For the moment, the tool only applies to spending on debit cards, although it should apply to credit cards at a later date.