Digital Frontiers

Consumer Protection

ARTICLES

Consumer Protection for Digital Financial Services: A Survey of the Policy Landscape

Digital financial services have contributed to the expansion of financial inclusion in the last decade, but there are certain consumer protection risks that may threaten to erode the important gains achieved. These risks have compelled regulators to rethink their approach to supervising consumer protection for digital financial services (CP4DFS). Through examples and case studies, this…

Policy Model on Consumer Protection for Digital Financial Services

The Digital Financial Services Working Group (DFSWG) and the Consumer Empowerment and Market Conduct Working Groups (CEMCWG) codified key policy guidance from relevant AFI knowledge products developed over the decade, coupled with best practices within the AFI network, in a policy model on Consumer Protection for DFS (CP4DFS).

Consumer Protection and COVID-19: Borrower Risks as Economies Reopen

Credit, if managed responsibly, can help financial services providers (FSPs) and their lower income customers resume economic activity and rebuild livelihoods damaged by lockdowns and other measures brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. However, lockdowns have put consumers in financial need and providers under stress, setting the stage for consumer protection challenges to emerge around…

G20/OECD Policy Guidance on Financial Consumer Protection Approaches in the Digital Age

In an increasingly digital environment for financial products and services with the potential to support greater financial inclusion and inclusive growth, the need for effective financial consumer protection is more important than ever. At the same time, the policies and approaches developed and adopted by financial consumer protection authorities need to evolve and adapt in…

Client Perspectives on Consumer Protection: Analysis of a Client Survey in Cambodia

This report shares findings from a client survey in Cambodia on the consumer protection practices of financial service providers. A guidance note is also provided for organizations seeking to conduct similar surveys by IVR.

India’s New Approach to Personal Data-Sharing

Over the past decade, India’s investments in its digital financial infrastructure—known as “India Stack”—have sped up the large-scale digitization of people’s financial lives. As more and more people begin to conduct transactions online, questions have emerged about how to provide millions of customers adequate data protection and privacy while allowing their data to flow throughout…

Clients Deserve to Know: Using Radio to Educate and Empower Consumers in Africa

Everyone has a role to play to improve financial consumer protection, including clients. This report explores lessons learned from three CFI initiatives in Ghana, Benin, and Uganda to raise consumer awareness of their rights and responsibilities when accessing financial services.

Digital Financial Services Supervision in Bangladesh

In this report, DFS innovations can rapidly expand financial access and inclusion, but also pose risks related to fraud, market abuses, and financial stability. Regulatory frameworks thus need to strike a balance between fostering innovation, protecting consumers, and addressing the potential for unintended consequences of technological disruption. They must also ensure the market is a…

The Client Protection Principles

Responsible financial inclusion is being fully transparent in the pricing, terms and conditions of all financial products. Responsible financial inclusion is working with clients so they do not borrow more money than they can repay or use products that they do not need. Responsible financial inclusion employs respectful collection practices and adopts high ethical standards…

Consumer Protection Standards for Digital Credit

With an emerging consensus around the importance of responsible digital credit, demand is rising for a shared set of criteria to assess the practices of digital lenders. Investors and regulators want a way to evaluate consumer protection practices among the financial service providers they invest in or regulate. Digital financial service providers also want guidance to…

Handbook on Consumer Protection for Inclusive Finance

As digital technologies transform financial inclusion, with new providers, products, and delivery channels reaching out to the financially excluded, the need increases for effective legal and regulatory frameworks to protect low-income consumers. A sound legal framework for consumer financial protection will support financial inclusion and innovation, allow new products and services to responsibly reach previously…

Regulating for responsible data innovation: the role of insurance regulators in dealing with risks relating to consumer data protection and privacy

Data innovation is challenging the traditional role of insurance regulators. Two major dilemmas emerge that insurance regulators and indeed all financial sector regulators face when confronted with how to regulate consumer data: 1. They must tread the balance to achieve positive consumer outcomes, by both enabling data-driven innovation but still protecting consumers from the risks…

G20/OECD Policy Guidance Financial Consumer Protection Approaches in the Digital Age

Given the increasingly digital environment for financial products and services and the potential for digitalisation to support greater financial inclusion and inclusive growth, the need for effective financial consumer protection is more important than ever. It is equally important that the policies and approaches developed and adopted by financial consumer protection authorities need to evolve and adapt in…

Learnings from comparing consumer credit protection systems in Pakistan and South Africa

Trust in the product and the financial service provider plays a vital role when looking at uptake and usage. Having effective recourse procedures is an important component of creating and keeping consumer trust.  This informative blog post from Cenfri looks at consumer recourse in Pakistan and South Africa, and identifies best practices and actions for improvement.

Practices and Tools required to support Risk-based Supervision in the Digital Age

FinCoNet developed a survey to collect relevant examples of supervisory practices that are innovative and forward-looking. FinCoNet members and non-members responded to the survey and shared their insights, experiences and practices among the conduct supervision community during the second half of 2017. Due to the high speed of technological change, supervisors have to continuously adapt…

2017 Good Practices for Financial Consumer Protection

The Good Practices is designed as both a comprehensive reference and an assessment tool for country-level policymakers and regulators. It is intended to serve as a practical, helpful collection of good practices in financial consumer protection, drawing from successful practices seen around the world and consolidating, complementing, and expanding upon high-level international principles and guidelines.

Good Practices for Financial Consumer Protection

In recent years, financial consumer protection has become an increasing priority for policy makers around the world, including World Bank Group client countries. Protecting consumers from abusive practices and enabling them to make well-informed decisions regarding the use of financial products and services is an important policy goal in and of itself, but also has…

Consumer protection in SADC

Consumer protection legislation and institutional arrangements differ across countries and there is no single or superior arrangement. The appropriate institutional form depends on market circumstances, resource availability and the level of market sophistication. In the financial services sector, it is generally accepted that general consumer protection measures and consumer education are not sufficient, and that…

Designing Disclosure Regimes for Responsible Financial Inclusion

In East Africa, a microborrower who goes to pay off his loan early is surprised by a hefty prepayment penalty that was not mentioned in his loan agreement. A small business owner in Southeast Asia becomes frustrated trying to determine which of several loans is the least expensive–one comes with a flat charge, another a…

Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy

The existing framework in the United States effectively addresses some privacy issues in our increasingly networked society, but additional protections are necessary to preserve consumer trust. The framework set forth in this document will provide these protections while promoting innovation. The Administration’s framework consists of four key elements: A Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, a…

Consumer Protection Issues for Digital Financial Services in Emerging Markets

Innovative digital financial services (DFS) are held out as a key solution for greater financial inclusion assisting low-income households to overcome poverty using lower cost methods for managing their finances. However, DFS roll-outs have been plagued by infrequent end-user usage despite high registration numbers. Active usage depends on many factors, however, one crucial factor is…

Mobile Financial Services Consumer Protection in Mobile Financial Services

This guideline note was developed by AFI’s Mobile Financial Services Working Group’s (MFSWG) Consumer Protection Subgroup to identify the primary consumer protection issues in mobile financial services and discuss options for regulators to address them.