A bank has banned its customers from using credit cards on any gaming or gambling services, sparking backlash from customers who claim McDonald’s will be next for selling unhealthy food.
Bank Australia has informed its customers they will not be allowed to make any gaming transactions on their credit cards from December 1.
‘Effective from 1 December 2020 we are blocking all gambling and gaming transactions on credit cards,’ the ‘responsible’ bank wrote to customers.
Chief executive of the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores, Jeff Rogut, told the Courier Mail the bank should not be controlling how customer’s behave.
‘I don’t think the companies that are offering the service should decide where consumers are spending their money,’ Mr Rogut said.
He said the bank could ‘take it to another extreme’ by not processing payments for alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets.
Director at The Centre for Independent Studies, Peter Kurti, said it was ‘odd’ that a bank would dictate these ‘moral decisions’.
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‘What’s next? If you go to Dan Murphys or McDonalds and make four trips in a week is the bank going to say “no it’s bad for you”?’ Mr Kurti said.
Mr Kurti said if his bank ‘did this to him’ he would be frustrated and immediately cancel his credit card.
Bank Australia is customer-owned, meaning there are no external shareholders.
‘We return our profits to our customers through pursuing our purpose of doing good for people and the planet as well as offering competitive and fair rates, fees and services,’ the website reads.
A Bank Australia spokesperson said any money loaned from savings and deposits by customers needs to be used responsibly.
‘As part of our commitment to responsible banking we want to make sure that the money we lend is used in ways that minimise potential harm to our customers and others,’ he said.
The spokesperson said the bank does not think gambling with funds that are borrowed from other customers is responsible.
He said a ‘majority’ of the bank’s’ 165,000 customers supported the new changes.
Customers are still allowed to make gaming and gambling payments on their debit cards.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Bank Australia for comment.