World Consumer Rights Day 2022: focus on fair digital finance
From 14th to the 18th March 2022, Euroconsumers joined Consumers International’s Fair Digital Finance Forum - a week of events to mark World Consumer Rights Day.
Every year on 15th March we celebrate World Consumer Rights Day, a day to raise awareness and drive meaningful change on consumer issues. The theme for the 2022 edition was Fair Digital Finance. While there is a vast potential for digital finance to create opportunities for all, digital financial services have also created new risks that can lead to unfair outcomes for consumers.
A week of events to promote fair digital finance around the world
Euroconsumers proudly joined forces with Consumers International, and its 200 member organisations across the globe, in this week long event, with a highly topical theme. The Forum was the first-ever global conversation around consumer-centred solutions in digital financial services, and brought together diverse voices of consumer advocates and key marketplace actors in digital financial services to accelerate change.
Euroconsumers committed to securing fair digital finance
The goal of Euroconsumers has always been to embrace innovation and use it to empower consumers. But the consumer must always be at the heart of it. This is even more true for digital finance. If innovative technologies in digital banking, lending, and investment are to truly reach their potential, consumers need to have confidence in them.
To make this engagement concrete, Euroconsumers’ member organisations ran a series of activities promoting a different aspect of fair digital finance each day.
On the 15th our Spanish member OCU developed workshops and conferences in different Spanish cities to promote inclusion in digital finance. You can also read more here on how OCU is campaigning for fair and inclusive finance for older consumers in particular.
On the 16th our Belgium member Test Achats/Test Aankoop spotlighted victims of phishing and supported legal action against institutions that refuse to compensate consumers. You can read Test-Achats/Test-Aankoop’s Press Release here.
On the 17th our Portuguese member Deco Proteste announced the Start Talking webinar on the consumer perspective on cryptocurrencies that was held on the 23rd. The event drew on the expertise of crypto experts, consumer protection specialists, and the view from the European Commission to give a balanced take on crypto.
On the 18th our Italian member Altroconsumo highlighted the importance of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors in sustainable finance. You can read here an article from Altroconsumo on Environmental, Social, and Governance factors in finance. And you can watch here their video on sustainable finance.
How digital is reshaping finance
Digital technologies are reshaping payments, lending, insurance, and wealth management everywhere. Consumer advocates recognise the vast potential for digital finance to create opportunities for all. However, digital financial services have created new risks along with exacerbating traditional risks that can lead to unfair outcomes for consumers. There is strong evidence to suggest these risks have increased in recent years, with vulnerable consumers increasingly at risk due to economic hardship. The rapidly evolving nature of digital financial services demonstrates the need for innovative regulatory approaches and digital finance services and products that centre consumer protection and empowerment. This innovation centred on consumer protection and empowerment is what the Forum, and its week of events, argued for.
Calling on all stakeholders to work for a better, fairer digital finance
World Consumer Rights Day 2022 called on businesses, governments and policymakers to ensure that digital finance is:
● Inclusive: Extending access to digital finance for all
● Safe: Mitigating harm in digital finance from scams, fraud, and phishing
● Data protected and private: Safeguarding the data of every consumer of digital financial services
● Sustainable: Ensuring green and socially responsible digital financial products
To find out more about the Fair Digital Finance Forum, and the theme of Fair Digital Finance, visit the website here.