The creator of a gambling block for banking customers has been awarded the first ever ‘Your Consumer Champion’ award, at the Which? Awards 2019.
Natalie Ledward, who works in Monzo’s vulnerable customer team, was recognised for creating a gambling block feature that is used by 100,000 Monzo customers.
After hearing feedback from consumers, Natalie took the initiative to develop a completely new concept to help some of the bank’s most vulnerable customers.
The feature works by spotting any transaction a person might try to make with bookmakers – either online or in a shop – by using merchant category codes. It instantly stops the transaction from happening, before any money leaves the customer’s account.
If the block is switched off customers have a 48-hour cooling-off period before they can place a bet. There is also a daily cash withdrawal limit.
The block has not only benefited Monzo customers but it has also had a profound impact on the financial industry as a whole, with other banks now following suit to develop their own blockers.
Danny Cheetham, Monzo customer, said:
“I tried to work out how much I’d spent on gambling and I got up to over £100,000 in total.
“I recently turned 30 and I’m nearly debt free. I owe a lot of that to Monzo and the fact that they’ve got the gambling block.
“I’ve finally been able to put payment plans in place, pay off my debts and actually get to the point where I can start planning my future.”
Which?’s ‘Your Consumer Champion’ award was introduced for the first time this year to recognise individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to improving the lives of consumers through positive change in the last 12 months. Nominations were submitted by businesses on behalf of individuals.
Anabel Hoult, Which? Chief Executive, said:
“We designed this award to shine a spotlight on the power that individuals in businesses have to create huge and lasting change on behalf of consumers.
“Natalie’s story demonstrates this perfectly by showing the impact that one person can have to create positive change from inception to completion.”
- Sophie Mohns, Principal Officer, National Trading Standards Scams Team
- Sophie managed the implementation of a call-blocking project that saw around 1,500 consumers receive call blockers to help protect them from scams.
- Tina Walls, Customer Service Assistant, Coventry Building Society
- Tina had come to know a customer with learning difficulties well over many years. Since he retired she worried that his account balance was getting unusually low, at a time when a family bereavement was also affecting him. She knew he should have a decent pension but found out that he’d received nothing since retiring. She asked him to bring in his paperwork, discovered a mistake and arranged a meeting with the Pension Advisory Service. An independent financial adviser put things right, but it’s testimony to Tina’s dedicated care and support that she spotted this life-defining issue and made sure it was resolved.
- The inaugural ‘Your Consumer Champion’ award was announced at the Which? Awards on Thursday 20th June.
- Which? asked businesses to nominate a colleague who has gone above and beyond for its customers. Whether it’s extraordinary customer service, a creative new idea or a challenge to the status quo. As well as a £300 voucher and a prestigious Which? Award the winner will be invited to join a Which? Awards alumni network and receive a coaching session with a consumer expert to help champion them and their award-winning idea.
- Please use the hashtag #WhichAwards2019 on social media.