Millions of Australians will have greater control than ever over their streaming services with the announcement of a key new banking feature.

Westpac revealed on Thursday it would allow mobile and internet banking customers to stop certain scheduled direct debit payments.

The feature will allow users to temporarily block a particular company, such as a streaming service, from removing funds from their account.

Westpac Cash Director Mandy Rutherford said the process of cancelling direct debits and internet subscriptions can be challenging.

“With 5.5 million of our customers actively using digital banking, we are giving them more choice in how they manage direct debits,” she said.

“Customers can now stop a payment for a future direct debit in their app, giving them greater control over their money.

“This will be particularly handy if they have multiple streaming services or subscriptions that they decide are no longer needed.”

If a customer chooses to block all direct payments from a company, the block will remain in place for three years unless changed.

Users of the banking app can also request to cancel the direct debit payments altogether, with Westpac notifying the company.

The feature will also be available for sole traders, and will be accessible from the banking app or online, according to Westpac.

A similar feature is currently available on the CBA’s Commbank app, while NAB requires in-person or over-the-phone cancellation.

The move comes as streaming services seek to recuperate revenue reportedly lost over recent years, including by hiking prices.

Music streaming platform Spotify revealed on Tuesday it was increasing the price of its subscription service by $1.

Netflix, which previously hiked the cost of its service, also began cracking down on password sharing this year in a bid to increase its user base.

Read related topics:Westpac


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By Rahul

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