Commonly identified Consumer Protection themes for Digital Financial Services

May 1, 2016

This report is a synthesis of existing research, legal provisions, guidelines, and other related resources related to consumer protection for digital financial services. The report identifies four common themes that policy makers or regulators may want to consider when developing laws, regulations, or guidelines related to DFS. This list is not exhaustive, but rather indicative of the types of issues that can be considered. In addition, consumer protection for digital financial service is a new area for regulations, and in many cases there is continued discussion and debate about which aspects can be best addressed by industry-led actions, versus requiring regulations. Finally, the feasibility of implementation and enforcement have not been taken into account when developing this list; these of course are critical elements when developing actual DFS guidelines. The four themes are:

  1. Provision of information and transparency
  2. Fraud prevention
  3. Dispute resolution
  4. Data privacy and protection

This Technical Report was researched and written by Rebecca Martin, Junior Programme Officer, and Vijay Mauree, Programme Coordinator, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), ITU. The authors are grateful to Ms Vinod Kotwal (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), Abdul Musoke (Uganda Communications Commission), MD Rashed (Bangladesh Bank) and Ivan Ssettimba (Bank of Uganda) for the invaluable information provided through questionnaire responses, email correspondence and conference calls. The authors would also like to extend their gratitude to the co-chairs and participants of the Consumer Experience and Protection working group for their feedback and support of this report.

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