ITU Blog: Are we doing enough to protect vulnerable users of mobile money?

Consumers who stand to benefit the most from innovative digital financial services (DFS) are the 2 billion adults globally who have never had access to formal financial services. The world’s poorest people perceive cash to be more reliable and cost-effective than money stored electronically – their perceptions of the risks attached to digital finance differ from those of consumers more experienced in the use of financial services.

DFS offerings must be designed with the least-experienced, most-skeptical user in mind. The adoption of DFS will never achieve significant scale if levels of trust are low. If DFS are to fulfill their potential to achieve full financial inclusion, we must assure DFS customers of a near-perfect user experience, which also implies effective, fair and free recourse mechanisms when consumers encounter problems with DFS.

‘Consumer experience and protection’ is one of the primary work streams of the ITU-T Focus Group on Digital Financial Services, a group which has developed guidelines and tools to assist countries in their efforts to increase financial inclusion. This Focus Group is holding its final meeting in Geneva, 6-7 December, where we are presenting the results of our two-year study on the key components to protecting the DFS consumer.

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