Westpac has extended its real-time digital gambling block service to more than two million personal debit card holders at its St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne subsidiaries.
The latest update will also see the gambling block automatically applied to Westpac customers under the age of 18 in an effort to prevent underage gambling.
The bank first implemented gambling blocks in April, allowing Westpac customers to restrict spending or completely block gambling-related transactions.
Westpac’s customer vulnerability and financial resilience director Catherine Fitzpatrick said the capability had already been activated more than 30,000 times since first going live.
“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,” she said.
“The benefits of being able to apply a block in real-time also it gives customers more control and flexibility in the moment.
“While the majority of customers are now using digital channels to complete their everyday banking tasks, our Customer Care team continues to remain available as another way for customers to call and have a block applied.”
Customers will need to wait two business days before their ban on gambling transactions can be lifted should they chose to remove the block.