Barclays - Spending restrictions

Interesting article here about the new spending restriction functionality being rolled out by Barclays. As far as I understand it it’s very similar to the Monzo ‘gambling block’. But it also seems to allow for restrictions in other areas too.

I don’t bank with Barclays so I’m unable to test this but would be interested to hear what others think. Would also be interesting to see whether Monzo are considering expanding on their current implementation of this.

BBC News - Barclays customers can now ‘switch off’ spending


Had no idea that was there! (More> cards > merchant control in case anyone else is hunting for it)

Great idea but there is no friction. Toggle to turn it off and then toggle it back on, not even an ‘are you sure?’ message. Kind of pointless to me really because of that


‘We can do it too’ just with no real thought behind it.


I’d really like to see this come to Monzo, ideally extend the existing gambling block in exactly the same format.

Compulsive behaviour isn’t just gambling and it can be very helpful to make these sorts of decisions in sane moments

To make it really effective you’d probably also want to be able to set a lower daily limit on cash withdrawals (and if possible cashback) as well with a 48h cool down to turn it off

I’d also really like to set how long to wait to turn on again by category. Some it might be enough to wait 4-8 hours, others up to seven days.


This is an amazing idea!!! Monzo please implement this!!!

Agreed kind of pointless. Maybe a two hour cool down on like pubs/bars/supermarkets to allow emotions to calm down etc

Also like why would anyone need a spending block on petrol/diesel? How does Barclays even know you’re buying diesel and not a bottle of water from a service station?

Also being able to set your own time limits (cause everyone’s needs are different) and also being able to block certain retailers would be PIVOTAL cause I live right next to an Aldi and every Thursday I go bankrupt!


I really need to cut down on my Petrol and Diesel habit, costing me well over £300 month.
BMW i3 or Leaf? :thinking:

Jokes aside good to them added


This is what it looks like.


I am intrigued why they put petrol in but I guess having the option can’t hurt. Is it easy to just toggle off and on or is there a cool down window or do you need to contact barclays?

Good on them. They might want to add more friction than just a “are you sure” message.

Also “Petrol and diesel” or “Groceries and supermarket” make no sense.

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I think we should appreciate the efforts of any bank trying give people control over their spending and this although not implemented as Monzo (gambling block) still is a good thing.

I would also like Monzo to bring some of these controls like spending on premium rate phone lines or websites.



It does feel like a situation where they did it because they can rather than stop to think would blocking fuel and food be useful.

As Restaurants/Food is lumped with Pubs/Bars that makes it kinda rubbish if you want to block being able to have a drink but still be able to go to restaurants with toggle on, toggle off, toggle on, toggle off. And if you can do that to a block its not really as helpful. Yes you can still order a drink in a restaurant I know.

What is an example of a premium rate website?
Is that a website that charges more than the going rate? Pops up on Barclays app, that’s blocked you can get it cheaper on Amazon.

How will it stop a phone call to a premium rate number?

Are we literally talking about TV shows where it asks the viewers to vote for the winner?

Blocking groceries is as useful as any other category. Go into Asda and they sell everything

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this was on radio 1’s news this morning

It can also be pornography sites/numberse I believe which may be the main aim

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This took some digging:

Premium rate websites and phone lines (to include: 0870 numbers, mostly used for sales calls; 09 numbers, used for live entertainment, competitions, TV voting and adult lines; and 118 numbers, including directory enquiries. This blocks the purchases made from these services, not the numbers themselves)

And also:

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.


Well then that’s probably quite useful, to people coming home pissed and spending a fortune on those TV shows at 2am with chat to a girl/guy wiggling about trying to look horney.


Great that other banks are following suit with this, would be nice if monzo offered more choice of MCC to block.

Personally I can’t think why someone would want to block fuel or groceries as that would make getting around rather difficult as well as your weekly shop, does anyone have any examples? But saying that since there’s not much friction to enable it again it’s not too much of an issue.

To improve it they could add more friction in some areas.

  • If you don’t have a car
  • If a carer buys your groceries and needs to restrict your ability to buy unhealthy food?

Dunno, groceries does seem like the one that people just said “yeah, that’d be nice”

Finding the option in the app is already a bit of friction :joy:

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You do your weekly shop and block it after until the next one. Going into shops, even grocery shops, and impulse splurging is a huge problem. All those smaller transactions add up