Smart Campaign and The MasterCard Foundation in Partnership to Advance Consumer Protection in Financial Services
Thursday, November 3, 2016
“It’s important to certify the practices of individual financial institutions, but we will not create wholesale, sustainable change until we galvanize the support all of the partners involved in serving low-income people, including regulators and new, technology-based service providers. We must also make a concerted effort to champion the client’s perspective,” said Isabelle Barrès, Director of the Smart Campaign.
The Smart Campaign’s work aligns directly with The MasterCard Foundation’s focus on responsible, client-centric financial services. “Our approach is to build and leverage partnerships across the financial inclusion sector to ensure clients’ needs are met responsibly,” said Ann Miles, Director of Financial Inclusion and Youth Livelihoods at the Foundation. “The Smart Campaign’s ability to reach out directly to clients to build awareness of their rights and understand their feedback is at the very heart of this partnership. The Smart Campaign will carry out activities designed to raise clients’ voices and inform them about their rights and responsibilities as consumers.”
In much of Sub-Saharan Africa, client protection is urgently needed and sorely lacking. Predatory providers, abusive practices, weak regulations and inappropriate products can create lasting and sometimes devastating harm. At the same time, digital financial services are sweeping the continent, raising brand new client protection issues. While the Smart Campaign will continue to be a global effort, this partnership will focus work in five Sub-Saharan African countries: Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda. “With more than 45 million people in these five countries using financial services – often for the first time – the imperative to fully and sustainably protect clients is clear. With generous support from The MasterCard Foundation, the Smart Campaign can help ensure more people are offered high quality financial services,” said Isabelle Barrès.