World Consumer Rights Day 2022
Each 15 March the consumer movement unites to highlight a pressing issue facing consumers globally. This year, the Membership of Consumers International - 200 consumer groups in 100 countries - selected Fair Digital Finance as our global theme.
By 2024, digital banking consumers are expected to exceed 3.6 billion. In the developing world, the proportion of account owners sending and receiving payments digitally has grown from 57% in 2014 to 70% in 2017. Digital finance brings new opportunities – but also new risks that can lead to unfair outcomes for consumers. Digital finance can increase the likelihood that the most vulnerable are left behind.
This World Consumer Rights Day sparked the first-ever global conversation on the consumer vision for fair digital finance.
ABOUT THE THEME
Digital technologies are reshaping payments, lending, insurance, and wealth management, becoming a key enabler for consumers of financial services. However, in recent years and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are increasingly exposed to scams, frauds, phishing and data malpractices. Consumers who experience economic hardship are particularly vulnerable to these harms.
To address the most pressing issues faced by consumers in digital finance, Consumers International and our global Membership developed a Consumer Vision for Fair Digital Finance. The Vision sets out questions for decision makers from a consumer rights perspective to build a digital financial marketplace that is inclusive, safe, data protected and private, and sustainable for everyone.
The Fair Digital Finance Forum
On the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day 2022, Consumers International hosted the first ever Fair Digital Finance Forum, March 14-18.
This online gathering brought together academics, FinTech experts, representatives from government, business/industry, civil society and the consumer movement to highlight the most pressing challenges in the digital finance environment and explore how we shape fair digital finance for the future.
OUR STATEMENT ON BUY NOW PAY LATER PRODUCTS
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) products extend credit to consumers to pay for goods and services over time. Whilst these services assist people who are in financial difficulty, they can also lead to more and more people entering into difficulty.
Buy Now Pay Later debts are also getting bigger. While BNPL started off as a way to pay for small retail purchases in many countries BNPL providers are now lending money for people to pay for essential services like energy and for large expenses.
As technology evolves to create new products and services, governments and regulators need to ensure that consumers continue to be protected. As part of the Fair Digital Finance Forum, Consumers International and its Members make six key asks for governments and regulators to protect consumers, particularly those at risk of financial hardship.
View events sessions from our Fair Digital Finance Forum 2022
If you missed any of the sessions from our forum, you can find them here.
If you would like to listen to these recordings, you can find them below:
- Consumer Advocacy - A Catalyst for Change in Digital Finance
- Building the Digital Finance Regulation We Need
- Accelerating Fair Digital Finance in Low and Middle Income Countries
- Latin America’s FinTech Boom: Protecting and Empowering Consumers in an Age of Innovation
- Why a Gender Lens Matters for Financial Consumer Protection
- Mobile Money - Innovations to Empower Consumers
- Debt Policies and Relief: Financial Consumer Protection in the Age of Digital Lending
- Protecting and Empowering Vulnerable Consumers in the Digital Finance Marketplace
- Managing and Mitigating Consumer Risk
- "Buy Now Pay Later" and the Consumer Experience
- Revising the G20/OECD High Level Principles on Financial Consumer Protection
- Open Finance: Unlocking Innovation and Empowering Consumers
- Crypto and the Consumer
- Next Generation Consumers and Finance of the Future
- Building Sustainable Digital Finance for All
- Sustainable Finance: Our Hidden Superpower to Build a Better World an Example from Europe
- Closing Address from Helena Leurent
MEMBERS SHARE THE IMPORTANCE OF FAIR DIGITAL FINANCE
This year we asked our Members to share video content on why fair digital finance is so important, to demonstrate as consumer advocates what we want to change in the sector to protect and empower consumers everywhere.
In this playlist Members speak about the opportunities and some of the key areas in need of addressing in the sector, including effective regulation and redress, responsible lending, over-indebtedness, financial literacy and more.