Monzo has teamed up with TrueLayer to provide protection to customers using new payment methods to gamble.

In 2018, Monzo introduced a Gambling Block, following demand from customers who wanted help controlling their gambling addictions. The Gambling Block is an optional tool that blocks card payments to gambling firms.

As part of the new alliance, Monzo and TrueLayer plan to extend this gambling block, enabling the prevention of card transactions and open banking payments to operators supported by TrueLayer.

In a blog post, the two companies said: “Every consumer should have access to a gambling block, regardless of who they bank with – or how they pay.

“This is relatively simple for banks and open banking providers to put in place, but can have a big impact on someone’s well being. Other banks and open banking providers should follow our lead, to allow gambling blocks to cover non-card payments.”

Customers can apply the gambling block to their account through the app or by speaking to the Monzo customer services team.

Monzo’s move comes after the UK gambling regulator announced the prohibition of credit cards in online gambling to prevent people from betting money they don’t have. The decision, by the Gambling Commission, was part of a major overhaul of the industry “to insure a safe gambling experience for all customers”.

How the gambling block works

Most gambling blocks work by blocking card payments to specific merchant category codes, assigned by schemes like Visa or Mastercard.

These types of codes are not available for new payment methods such as open banking powered payments. As a result, Monzo and TrueLayer hope to tap into this demand and provide the protections for these payment methods.

Through the extended service, TrueLayer will automatically let Monzo know any time their customer attempts to make an open banking payment to a gambling firm.

This data will enable Monzo to prevent the payment on the customers’ behalf if they have their gambling block activated.

The blog post said: “Providing customers with self exclusion tools for gambling is only the beginning, and there’s so much more that can be done.

“Open banking providers offer a unique opportunity to help gambling operators seamlessly support those experiencing gambling harms – and empower consumers to stay in control of their finances. By enabling the right types of protections for all players, gambling can remain a purely social activity, rather than one with life-altering negative effects.”