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ACCELERATING FAIR DIGITAL FINANCE IN LOW- AND MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES

Digital financial services are transforming people's lives worldwide.

With access to credit, savings and loans, families can prepare for financial shocks, young people can invest in their future, and women are empowered through increased financial independence. 

But if people are to really benefit from financial inclusion, digital financial services must protect and empower consumers, everywhere.

Through the Fair Digital Finance Accelerator, Consumers International is helping consumer associations in low- and middle- income countries fight for a future where consumers everywhere can embrace advances within the sector, through services which are inclusive, safe, data-protected and sustainable

 

The Fair Digital Finance Accelerator

Consumer advocates drive change through diverse advocacy channels and strategies, such as working alongside policy-makers to ensure regulation guarantees consumer protectionlegal action, market research and complaints handling. For more, read our report with CGAP 

The Fair Digital Finance Accelerator leverages this power and scales the potential of consumer associations.   

More than 40 consumer associations across the world, from Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia are currently in the Fair Digital Finance Network. They protect vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers including women, children, older people and hard-to-reach communities. This vibrant and committed group see great potential for consumer protection within digital finance, by improving safety, data-protection and privacy and implementing effective consumer dispute and resolution mechanisms.   

Consumers International offers Network Members:  

  • Access to a global community of financial service consumer advocates and experts
  • Platforms, events and opportunities to build and strengthen advocacy channels with regulators
  • Training modules designed for consumer advocates on cutting edge themes and coaching to drive local action
  • Coordinated consumer advocacy campaigns at national and regional level
  • Thought leadership and knowledge building, including case studies and our annual publication on the state of digital financial services in low- and middle-income countries
  • Opportunities to apply for support for research and projects.

 

Members include:

The Fair Digital Finance Accelerator is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with support from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).

The Fair Digital Finance Advisory Panel ensures the Accelerator is on the cutting edge of developments in digital finance policy and regulation. It is made up of policy experts and senior leaders from across consumer advocacy, business, regulation and civil society. 

Ashley Onyango

Head of Financial Inclusion and AgriTech, Mobile for Development,GSMA

María José 

Directora Ejecutiva,

Tribuna Ecuatoriana de Consumidores y Usuarios

 

 

Deon Woods Bell

Senior Advisor, Global Policy, Financial Services for the Poor, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  

Anna Wallace, 

SPO Consumer Protection and RegTech, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Juan Carlos Izaguirre 

Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP 

Eric Duflos 

Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP

Maria Lúcia Leitão

Head of Banking Conduct Supervision Department, Central Bank of Portugal (Banco de Portugal) 

Myra Valenzuela

Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP

Njuguna Ndung'u

Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury & Economic Planning.

Rosemary Shumirayi Chikarakara Mpofu 

Executive Director, Consumer Council of Zimbabwe

Tamara Cook 

CEO, Financial Sector Deepening Kenya

Tidhar Wald 

Deputy Managing Director, Better Than Cash Alliance 

Youkyung Huh 

Director of Digital and Financial Regulatory Policy, Consumers Korea 

Amplifying Consumer Experiences of Digital Finance

Consumers International provides the consumer voice to business, government and others:   

  • In October 2022, we brought the Accelerator to Financial Inclusion Week to talk about our role in protecting and empowering consumers through methods including redress mechanisms and data protection, and the need for consumers to be at the heart of regulation 
  • In October 2022, we participated in the 30th Session of the G20-OECD Task Force on Financial Consumer Protection at a roundtable discussion on financial trends and their implications for consumers.

 

Keep an eye on our work via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as we share more about our participation at major events.

Watch our Fair Digital Finance Accelerator launch event, where we laid out the opportunity we see for a consumer-focussed regulatory environment in digital finance and discussed how we can bring this into reality through consumer advocacy.  

Opportunities for Accelerator Members

Join Fair Digital Finance Training Courses

Designed by experts in the field and in partnership with key stakeholders, our tailored training programme supports consumer associations in low- and middle- income countries to navigate the rapidly evolving world of digital finance.   

Over three years Members will gain a comprehensive understanding of the sector with:  

  • Knowledge of the underlying mechanics of digital financial services  
  • Expertise in the consumer risks associated with digital financial services, such as fraud, scams, and data risks and the digital finance regulatory environment.  
  • Awareness of the specific challenges facing women and marginalised groups 
  • The skills to lead informed and effective conversations with regulators, governments and stakeholders. 

 

Contact the team for more information. 

Apply for Grants

The Fair Digital Finance Accelerator offers grants to committed Members of the Network, supporting them to run effective campaigns and build relationships with regulators and business.  

Grants help Members to amplify consumer concerns in local and national discussion, broaden the reach of their campaigns, and deliver innovative programmes which support vulnerable or underserved communities. 

Our first round of grants will be announced in early 2023. To apply, Members must have completed the available Fair Digital Finance Accelerator training courses. 

Email FDFA@consint.org for more information. 

HOW TO JOIN US

If you are a Consumers International Member based in a low- and middle-income country you can join the Network and build a fair digital finance marketplace. Contact FDFA@consint.org  to find out more.  

INSIGHTS

Digital finance: The consumer experience, 2023

January, 2023

The consumer is at the heart of consumer protection, yet they are often not present in financial sector regulatory decision-making, and their experiences are often left out of reported metrics on consumer protection. 

Our latest report, Digital finance: The consumer experience, 2023, gathers data and insight to measure the extent to which our vision for fair digital finance is being realised in low- and middle-income countries. It provides a metric for governments, businesses and consumers to track the progress of the digital finance sector in delivering fair, inclusive and consumer-centric services through year-on-year and cross-country comparison.

DOWNOAD THE REPORT

Banking on the future

JULY, 2017

Financial technology, or FinTech, is reshaping the financial services sector as we know it.

From driving greater competition within the industry to widening access to core financial services for consumers without a basic bank account, FinTech has the potential to deliver many positive outcomes for consumers.

There are however, a number of risks and consumer detriments are emerging from FinTech, including issues around privacy, cybercrime and gaps in regulation.

Our report; Banking on the future: an exploration of FinTech and the consumer interest, explores how and why FinTech is transforming financial services markets, and takes an in-depth look at the challenges and opportunities for consumers.

You can download a summary of the report in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. Click below to download the full report in English.

DOWNOAD THE REPORT

Mobile Finance  

JANUARY, 2014

As more people make transactions using their phone, tablet or computer it is important that we can be sure these payments are secure and our consumer rights are fully protected.   

Our 2014 briefing paper on mobile payments set out the main consumer protection issues with paying money through our phones. 

DOWNOAD THE PAPER