Gateway Guide to Consumer Protection

Date Published: 
Feb 2015

Highlighting noteworthy publications and key resources on consumer protection

It is important to have protections in place for customers when they are dealing with financial service providers as challenges can arise which have serious economic consequences. Consumer protection is an essential element of any inclusive financial system and is particularly vital for low-income consumers given the challenges they face in managing their day-to-day household expenses.

The implementation of financial consumer protection rules and practices is still nascent in many emerging markets, although consumer protection has gained more prominence in recent years with the global financial crisis and concerns about over-indebtedness. Implementing consumer protection practices may take time and is likely to evolve as new risks are identified. This includes exploring how the growing use of innovative channels such as mobile money will change the challenges and risks consumers face; understanding the ways in which consumer behaviors common to many of us impact our financial decisions and actions; and supporting emerging market policymakers to implement effective financial consumer protection policies.

Below we present a selection of recent publications on consumer protection in financial inclusion. You can also learn more in our Consumer Protection resource center

Key Publications

Informed Consent: How Do We Make It Work for Mobile Credit Scoring?
Sep 2014, CGAP
This paper seeks to determine what consumers understand about their mobile data, and how it is being used by financial service providers.

Applying Behavioral Insights in Consumer Protection Policy
Jun 2014, CGAP
This Focus Note presents emerging evidence on selected behavioral biases relevant to financial consumer protection, their consequences, and how market conduct regulation and other measures might best reduce abuse and produce better services and ultimately better outcomes for consumers. 

Does Good Client Protection Impact Financial Performance?
May 2014, European Microfinance Platform (E-MFP)
This paper presents the results of a statistical analysis performed to understand the relationship between client protection and financial performance. 

A Guide to Client Protection Assessments
May 2014, The Smart Campaign
This toolkit describes client protection assessment options available to financial institutions, discusses the assessment process, and explains how to use the results of the assessment.

Establishing a Financial Consumer Protection Supervision Department
Mar 2014, World Bank
This paper aims to assist policymakers and regulators in establishing a financial consumer protection supervision department (FCPSD) within the main financial regulator of a country, providing practical information drawn from experiences of five countries: Armenia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Peru, and Portugal.

Mobile Payments and Consumer Protection
Jan 2014, Consumers International
This policy briefing note provides a background on the use of mobile payments globally and identifies key issues related to consumer protection among users of mobile payments. 

Making Recourse Work for Base-of-the-Pyramid Financial Consumers
Dec 2013, CGAP
This paper explores innovative ways for policy makers and providers to raise awareness and improve accessibility of consumer recourse mechanisms, while also discussing how to proactively use recourse data to address systematic problems in Base-of-the-Pyramid (BoP) markets. 

Applying Behavioral Economics at the Financial Conduct Authority
Apr 2013, Financial Conduct Authority
This paper highlights how consumers make predictable mistakes when choosing and using financial products and how firms respond to these mistakes, as well as how behavioral biases can lead firms to compete in ways that are not in the interests of consumers.

Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy: Lessons from Nine Country Studies
Jun 2010, World Bank
This paper summarizes key lessons from reviews of consumer protection and financial literacy in nine middle-income countries of Europe and Central Asia.