Guardian interview with Tom

I was taken aback by the following snippet:

It’s not hard to see how such features might be extended – and abused. Why not introduce, say, a McDonald’s block? “McDonald’s, yeah, you could do a McDonald’s block quite easily,” says Blomfield. “But alcohol and cigarettes are the two I would really love to put a block on.” Monzo doesn’t have the data to do this by itself, he explains. “But what Tesco could do is send entire receipt data through the Mastercard and Visa networks, which would then enable us to say: ‘Aha! There’s alcohol on that!’ Then we could decline the transaction until you take the alcohol out of your cart and re-swipe your card. It’s entirely possible, it just needs all the shops to adopt it.”

That’s a dangerous road to go down!


Not sure the benefits out way the costs.

I’ll rather my bank not decide what to block personally. I know that is not what is being suggested, but it what is implied. ie, I have an alcohol block on, I go shopping, buy a bottle of wine for a friend, but my transaction is declined because of the block.

I find Tom interesting, his ideas are fresh. So many are wrong, but its interesting non the less. He needs to expand his team and combine his ideas with some older ideas, to get something that works,

The bank isn’t deciding this, it would go alongside the user-selected gambling block as I understand it. I’m hopeful Starling will go down this path too, it’s a great idea.

Updated to add that I have a relative who is a chronic smoker and who has tried to quit many times, and I think something like this could be very useful to them.


The gambling block works because most of it’s done online.

You could simply take out cash to get around this.


But you could do the same at the bookies. That’s not online. It’s about making it more difficult, you can’t stop people if they’re determined. That would actually be the level of control being talked about (erroneously).

I’m not even a fan of the gambling block. I think it’s a gimmick.

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Well you’re entitled to that opinion, but I think that if it helps only 1 person then it’s worth the effort to add it, no matter how gimmicky it seems.

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That’s how I read it. I’m more concerned that shops would start sending itemised lists of my shopping to my bank. That’s a serious increase in data sharing that I would want some control over.


I’m not keen on that level of data being given to my bank. They don’t need to know how much I’m spending on bed linen.

With all the APIs available I’d think they could just have some kind of way of reading the data from the shop database and displaying it in the app, rather than holding the data themselves.

We’re already there with flux as it shows itemised receipts under your transactions but I don’t think someone at the bank can see it although I don’t know. Never thought about it :thinking:

The Starling gambling black is not fit for purpose since it can be switched off and on at will. They did state that more friction would be implemented after the poor feedback at launch, and then… nothing.


I’ve seen flight details from BA appear on a bank statement so I guess that can be seen by the bank.

I don’t see that any of them are really, a gambling block should be that; a block, once switched on it can never be switched off. I don’t understand why anyone with a gambling problem would ever want the temptation of being able to switch it back on. It’s like being an alcoholic with a full but locked drinks cabinet. If you want it enough you’ll get what you want. Just say ‘once enabled it’s permanent’ and leave it at that. If you’ve got a problem bad enough that its basically an addiction and you need your bank to help you stop, it’s probably bad enough that the option to ever do it again is removed from you.

That said, outside of the most serious issues, on the whole i entirely disagree with these blocks as it’s taking way the personal responsibility of individuals, however helpful it may be in the short term to block ASOS so they cant make midnight shopping splurges, far better they splurge, have no money, miss their rent payment and shut themselves for a month and really learn from it, like we’ve all had to at times, than lean on other people all the time to stop us being our own worst enemy. I don’t see people learning with these blocks.



Who are you replying to? :+1::joy:

Complete lack of business sense. Why would a shop that sells alcohol and tobacco choose to send data that would cause the transaction to fail, costing them valuable time and reducing their sales?

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Rocket Man? I’m great at Catchphrase!!

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When I book OneWorld flights on Amex, my statement shows name of passenger, booking ref, destinanation and flight number

Well if that is the case why does he not release this information along with what he gets paid?

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I don’t think anyone should release the details of who gets paid what, absolutely no one’s business what I get paid. I don’t want to know what someone else gets paid either.