NEW RESEARCH: How consumer advocates can shape the future of financial services

24 March 2021

Today, Consumers International and CGAP release their report on: “The role of consumer organisations to support consumers of financial services in low and middle income countries”.

As technology delivers greater access to financial services, more consumers are now using financial products than ever before. A World Bank report in 2018 found in the developing world, 57% of account owners were sending and receiving payments digitally in 2014. By 2017, this figure grew to 70%.

Alongside CGAP, Consumers International looked at consumer experience in 32 low and middle income countries and how consumer advocates continually inform and defend consumers to ensure fairness and safety for all as the financial market grows. This includes Brazil, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Lebanon, Morocco, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe.

This report describes how consumer advocacy shines light on real consumer experience in financial services, informing and defending consumers every day. More importantly, it provides effective regulation models that spark innovation but also provide strong social safety nets for people.



“This is a global phenomenon. Consumer advocacy has long protected consumers in financial services. The report shares the state of consumer protection for consumers of financial services in low and middle income countries. However, this issue is a global one and our members are already doing a lot of work to fill the gap between how the marketplace should be fair, safe and sustainable and where it is now.”

– Director General, Helena Leurent

At time of economic crisis consumer protection is more needed than ever.  As we build back, can consumer organisations help shape sustainable finance, drive agile governance and support the design of truly consumer-centred business models?

Our sincere thanks to Consumers International members who shared their tireless work. Consumer advocacy continues to demonstrate the important role they play in ensuring financial service marketplaces are safe, fair and sustainable for consumers, with approaches that are varied, relevant for the regional context and effective.

The market for financial services is strong when consumer voices are heard, consumer rights are respected, and consumers have agency.


This report is a great example of how consumer advocacy can support consumers of financial services. From these learnings and as part of our strategy to drive and deepen financial inclusion, we will continue to work with our members to innovate in the digital financial services space for and with all consumers.


See below for ways that you can support the promotion of this report and contribute to the next stage of this programme of work:

  • Share the findings of this report with your networks 
  • Read more about our work on Financial Services
  • Sign up to our eNetwork for regular updates on how consumer advocacy is taking action
  • Contact us to find how you can be involved in the next stage of our work on financial services