Doing Digital Finance Right: The Case for Stronger Mitigation of Customer Risks

Analyzing risks faced by consumers while using digital financial services

This paper explores risks in digital finance particularly through the lens of lower-income and less-experienced consumers. It analyzes consumer research findings from a total of 16 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, including quantitative surveys in nine countries, case studies in four countries, and a variety of qualitative research. The report suggests that providers can and should take action to improve the safety, reliability, and transparency of digital financial service products, channels, and systems, as well as help customers to understand and mitigate associated risks. It identifies five critical priorities for providers and industry leaders: improving service reliability and robustness, making the customer interface more user- friendly, strengthening agent quality, management, and liquidity, combatting fraud affecting customers, and improving handling of complaints, queries, and redress. Key customer risk areas include:

  • Inability to transact due to network downtime;
  • Insufficient resources and preparedness of agents;
  • Complex and confusing user interfaces;
  • Poor means for customer recourse;
  • Non-transparent fees and other terms;
  • Fraud that targets customers;
  • Inadequate data privacy and protection.

About this Publication

By McKee, K., Kaffenberger, M. , Zimmerman, J. M.