Lloyds announces in-app service to let customers cancel subscriptions

Lloyds Bank will let customers cancel monthly subscriptions like television streaming and food boxes in its app with three quick clicks

  • The bank with 11m mobile customers will launch the service after a pilot  
  • Subscription services boomed in lockdown
  • It said it would eventually alert people prior to their free trial running out to avoid them being billed for services they didn’t plan on paying for

Millions of Lloyds Bank customers who signed up for new subscription services during the coronavirus lockdown will be able to cancel them in their banking apps under a new service.

Britain’s biggest bank, which also runs Halifax and Bank of Scotland, will launch the service over the next few months after a pilot.

The bank’s 11million mobile customers will be able to view the subscription services they’ve signed up to in one spot and cancel them with three clicks.

The bank has unveiled an update allowing people to cancel subscription services in its app

It said customers could also sign up for notifications telling them when the price of their service increased, or when they were due to be billed.

Lloyds said it planned to send alerts before a customer’s free trial ended in a few months’ time, potentially saving them money on a service they didn’t plan on paying for, but for now notifications will only be sent after payments are taken.

However, if someone is already aware of when their free trial is due to end, they can use the app to cancel it before they are billed for the first time.

Many banks already let customers view, manage and cancel direct debits and standing orders through their mobile apps, but this is not the case with subscription services despite their booming popularity.

The announcement is the latest move by Britain’s biggest bank to revamp its digital offering to keep pace with smartphone challengers like Monzo and Starling.

Last year it brought in instant spending notifications and alerts when customers received refunds, paid bills and standing orders and sent money to friends. 

Millions have signed up for subscription services during lockdown, especially TV streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+

Millions have signed up for subscription services during lockdown, especially TV streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ 

Lloyds said 1.3million of its customers signed up to subscription services in March and 600,000 in April during the coronavirus lockdown.

Households stuck at home have signed up for TV streaming services in particular, according to the market research company Kantar, but food boxes and other paid for services have also likely proved popular.

How many people plan to continue with such services as the lockdown eases is anyone’s guess, but the Lloyds update would appear to make it easier for people to cancel, especially if they have forgotten just how many they’ve signed up to.

Customers have previously needed either to call up their bank or cancel through the service provider.

Plans proposed by the payment provider Mastercard in January 2019 would have required subscription service providers to alert customers that their free trials were coming to an end, gain their consent before they billed them for the first time and make it easy for them to cancel any service.

Both Mastercard and Visa offer similar services in the US – but in Britain, customers must go themselves through their bank or the subscription service itself.