Consumer Protection

Digital technologies have transformed the way financial services are delivered, creating opportunities to bring services to many previously neglected or underserved people worldwide. This has been especially true in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where digital payments have been widely leveraged to deliver emergency cash transfer payments, remittances, loan disbursements and repayments, insurance payments, and more. While this infrastructure has proven immensely valuable in light of limits on movement and social distancing measures to combat the spread of the virus, it has also brought with it a wave of fresh consumer protection concerns.

Sessions on this day will discuss emerging consumer protection concerns, such as fraud, transparency, and recourse mechanisms. What do providers, investors, and policymakers need to know about these emerging risks and steps we must take to ensure consumers are protected? What are some of the new tools and techniques to help supervisors manage these news risks?

WEBINAR: COVID-19 and Emerging Consumer Protection Risks

One of the most pressing consumer protection issues arising in light of COVID-19 is the rapid digitization of cash transfer payments. While payments of all kinds have been shifting to digital channels over the past 10+ years, the rapid pace and scale of recent digitization efforts is unprecedented. Social distancing has required that we rethink distribution models that require in-person contact, and even without a pandemic, extending payments to beneficiaries in rural and difficult to reach areas can be costly and time consuming. Digital channels help overcome these and other obstacles to cash transfer payments, but also come with their own set of consumer protection risks, particularly for first-time users of digital financial products.

“It’s time to think about choice (for governments cash transfer payments). We need a special look at accounts quickly opened during the pandemic to make sure the choice element is added.” -Denise Dias

This webinar reviews the findings from a survey of Financial Inclusion Week participants on the risks that they’re seeing in their countries and regions of work and include a discussion on the types of risks emerging and potential responses by providers, regulators, and supervisors.

Denise Dias, Independent Consultant
Tanwi Kumari, Research Manager, Center for Financial Inclusion
Paul Tregidgo, Advisory Council Chair, Center for Financial Inclusion

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WEBINAR: SupTech for Market Conduct Supervision

The increasing use of technology to facilitate the collection and analysis of intelligence related to market conduct supervision and consumer protection is transforming the relationship between financial customers and regulators and supervisors. This relationship until now has mostly been “mediated” by the financial service providers, but we can start to imagine scenarios characterized by more direct dialogue. Can this changing paradigm improve the quality of the customer experience and “democratize” the financial sector by bringing the users’ voice into the development of the policies that shape the financial sector?

“Intelligence that allows regulators and supervisors to do their jobs is missing.” -Simone Di Castri

This webinar discussed new Supervisory Technology (SupTech) applications to enhance market conduct supervision, which has become even more urgent during COVID-19.

Charina De Vera-Yap, Director, Consumer Empowerment Group, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)
Mariana Escobar Uribe, Head of Sustainable Finance, Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia
Simone Di Castri, CFI Consultant and Managing Director, RegTech for Regulators Accelerator (R2A), Center for Financial Inclusion
Eric Duflos, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP

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