Westpac has extended its digital gambling block feature to give customers more ways to curb their spending with gambling merchants in real-time.
The latest changes mean the digital feature will now be available for over two million St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne personal debit card customers.
Westpac first made the digital feature available earlier this year enabling customers with eligible cards to apply an instant block on certain gambling-related transactions through their mobile or online banking.
The digital feature has already been activated more than 30,000 times since it first went live, according to Westpac’s director of customer vulnerability and financial resilience, Catherine Fitzpatrick.
“Problem gambling continues to be a serious issue in Australian communities, and as more people transact online during the pandemic, the digital feature gives customers the ability to manage their gambling spend whenever they might need it.
“The benefits of being able to apply a block in real-time also it gives customers more control and flexibility in the moment.”
As part of the latest updates, a gambling block is also now automatically applied to all Westpac Group debit cardholders under the age of 18 to help prevent underage gambling.
Westpac is also working with national addiction treatment, education, and research centre Turning Point to launch an online awareness campaign over the coming months when gambling activity tends to peak.