The FINANCIAL — Barclays has launched a new feature for customers within its mobile banking app giving them the ability to ‘turn off’ spending with certain types of retailers.
The first UK high street bank to offer such a feature, Barclays developed the new tool with customers in vulnerable circumstances in mind.
However, the feature will help all customers take greater control over where their money can be spent, as well as making them less vulnerable to fraud and scams.
Working with a range of advisors such as the Money Advice Trust and building on published evidence from organisations such as the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, Barclays identified a group of customers who would particularly benefit from being able to decide how and where their money is spent. These include those with mental health issues, addictions, and those who rely on carers or a guardian to handle their finances.
A simple button within the Barclays mobile banking app now allows the customer to choose which types of retailers they are able to spend with, meaning any attempted payments that fall within the ‘turned off’ category will be automatically declined.
Barclays identified five core retailer groups which customers can control. These groups have been selected based on research by the bank into the areas that customers would most like to manage, as well as consultation with advisors.
The retailer categories are:
Groceries and supermarkets;
Restaurants, takeaways, pubs and bars;
Petrol and diesel;
Gambling (to include gambling websites and betting shops);
Premium rate websites and phone lines.
This follows on from other safety features introduced for Barclays debit card holders over the past year, such as the ability to set a daily cash machine withdrawal limit and turning off the ability to make purchases online and via the phone.
The new feature is now available to all Barclays debit card customers, and will be rolled out to credit card holders in the near future.