Our consumer protection agenda tackles some of the most pressing barriers to building an inclusive financial system that supports and protects the interests of financially excluded clients.

Consumer protection is a dynamic challenge. As the inclusive finance landscape evolves, so too must our understanding of the changing risks and approaches needed to protect consumers.

At CFI, we research emerging consumer protection risks, test innovative solutions in response to new risk, and work with key stakeholders — financial service providers, investors, and policymakers — to ensure their practices promote consumers’ well-being. We aim to foster dialogue among an increasingly complex set of stakeholders and build a trusted and secure financial system that empowers consumers through greater choice.

Positive friction visualized by people falling with phones in hand
Positive Friction for Responsible Digital Lending: A Call to Action

Positive Friction for Responsible Digital Lending: A Call to Action

This report explores how strategically adding friction to digital financial services can benefit both lenders and borrowers.

Responsible Finance Forum (RFF)

In 2022, CFI assumed the convening role of the Responsible Finance Forum (RFF), a global coalition working to assess and manage rapidly evolving consumer risks faced by financial systems and low-income people. The platform provides a forward-thinking space for knowledge-sharing, ongoing research, and global dialogue to improve risk identification and mitigation.

Meet our Experts

Our consumer protection experts focus on responsible product design and identifying and mitigating risks in an evolving digital world.

Jayshree Venkatesan

Senior Research Director, Consumer Protection & Responsible Finance

Colin Rice

Senior Research Specialist

We have focused on consumer protection since our founding and continue to evolve our work as the needs of the sector change.

In 2009, CFI launched the Smart Campaign, a global initiative that worked to create an environment in which financial services are delivered safely and responsibly to underserved consumers. The Campaign developed the first global financial consumer protection standards, established a rigorous certification program to validate practices by financial service providers, produced consumer protection research, and convened partners to effect change.

In 2020, CFI transitioned the management of the Client Protection Standards and certification process to long-time partners SPTF and Cerise.

Industry leaders meeting in Bengaluru, India for RFF 2023.

In 2022, CFI assumed the role of the convenor for the Responsible Finance Forum (RFF). The forum aims to foster dialogue and action among the private sector, governments, practitioners, policymakers, academics, and consumer organizations. RFF was conceptualized in 2009 by BMZ/GIZ, CGAP, IFC, and the Netherlands Ministry of Finance, in partnership with the wider G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.

Consumer Protection Resources

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View our resources about consumer protection.

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