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Barclays has introduced a 72-hour ‘cooling off’ time delay to its gambling block feature, which will help the customers who are looking for additional control over  their expenses in gambling websites, apps or in venues. The new feature will make the customers wait for 72 hours for making the next gambling-related payments. Any attempted gambling-related transaction will be automatically rejected.

Sian McIntyre, Managing Director at Barclays said: “We are always looking for new ways to support our customers and make it easier for them to manage their finances.

“Customer feedback on our gambling control showed us there was more we could do to help and we’ve worked closely with them to design the solution. Our customers have told us this 72 hour time delay gives them a real pause for thought and helps when they are tempted to return to gambling.”

Anna Hemmings, Chief Executive of GamCare, said: “The ability to block gambling transactions through your bank card or app is incredibly helpful to those struggling to control their gambling, and is ideally used together with other practical tools such as self-exclusion, blocking software, and specialist support and treatment around the issue.

A recent report from the University of Bristol Personal Finance Research Centre has also highlighted that ‘positive friction’ such as a cooling off period can be even more helpful for users, as this gives time for reflection. GamCare is pleased to see Barclays take this positive step to support their customers and we hope more of the financial sector follows suit.”

Katie Alpin, Interim Chief Executive of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, said: “We’ve long campaigned for banks to offer customers gambling blocks with a ‘cooling off’ period, as this can make a huge difference in helping people stay in control of gambling and avoid serious financial problems. We’re delighted that Barclays has taken this step and hope that other banks will follow suit.”