Klarna activates UK gaming block for direct bank-to-bank payments

By Joy Dumasia


  • Bank to bank transfer
  • Europe
  • FinTech

Klarna, a leading global retail bank, payment and shopping service that helps consumers save time and money, be informed and in control of their finances, announced that it is enabling banks to expand voluntary gaming blocks to open bank payments powered by its subsidiary, SOFORT, helping to protect hundreds of thousands of UK consumers.

Monzo was the first bank to introduce a gambling block in 2018, following demand from customers who wanted help controlling their use of gambling sites. Since then, most UK banks have followed the lead of Monzo. However, while game blocks are effective for payments made by card, open bank payments are often not covered. Klarna subsidiary SOFORT has become the first provider to integrate the UK’s first Open Banking-powered gaming block, developed by Monzo and Truelayer last year, which released the update code publicly. This will allow Monzo to extend its gaming block to all Klarna-powered bank-to-bank immediate payments for UK Monzo customers. Currently, 400,000 Monzo customers have activated the game block.

Klarna Kosma is one of the largest open banking aggregators in the world, providing connectivity to 15,000 banks globally. The network powers SOFORT, one of Klarna’s direct bank-to-bank payment methods used by 75,000 merchants across Europe, including some online gaming and gaming sites. It is important to note that only immediate payments are allowed on gambling and online gambling sites; none of Klarna’s BNPL or other credit products may be used on gambling or gaming sites.

With the update, Klarna has announced that banks connected to SOFORT will be able to identify a payment request from a gaming or gaming company and, if there is a game block in place, block that payment, thereby protecting their clients. The update code is available to banks and Open Banking providers, and the patch is quick, simple, and easy to create.

Alex Marsh, Director of Klarna UK, commented: “We are calling on banks and other open banking infrastructure providers to make this relatively small update which could help protect hundreds of thousands of UK consumers. Open banking has huge potential to increase competition and reduce costs, and as adoption grows the industry must act quickly to make changes that can further improve the lives of UK consumers.

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