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These efforts not only need the support of industry but governments as well.[xii] Some of the best practices used by others in addressing consumer education are also applicable to issues around educating consumers on digital credit products as well.[i] “It Takes a Village” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_takes_a_village [ii] Smart Campaign (Sept 2017) Tiny Loans, Big Questions: Client Protection in Mobile Consumer Credit Discussion with Ros Grady during the Responsible Finance Forum VIII May 2017.

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22online dating personal services22

[8] Due to the challenges faced by regulators in coming up with appropriate regulatory responses, groups such as CGAP and AFI have promoted public-private dialogues around issues such as consumer protection for digital credit providers.

As CGAP has noted,[9] progress in the area of digital consumer protection requires collective action, including industry-regulator consultation, formal industry standards, as well as responsive policy or regulatory measures.

To be effective, these codes need to be endorsed and widely disseminated by the industry associations but also published as clear commitments on the websites of the providers.[xi] Source: Online Lenders Alliance Associations supporting the industry should also provide, where feasible, additional support to address consumer complaints as well as play the role of an interim ombudsman similar to the way the Online Lenders Alliance maintains a consumer hotline for complaints for customers of their member institutions.

Source: Online Lenders Alliance Overall, emerging industry digital credit principles and standards can benefit and learn from the practices developed by other groups with a focus on themes discussed in chapter 3 on industry responses.

It will to protect especially new and emerging digital credit consumers.

This requires customized local approaches collaboratively implemented by governments, regulators, industry players, consumer protection advocates and even consumers working together toward more responsible credit in the digital age.

[ix] Grovelands (June 2013) [xi] See the example of the Online Lenders Alliance seal Ibid.

[xiii] Australian Securities & Investment Corporation ((July 2015) (Note that this is the 4th chapter of a new publication on Responsible Digital Credit and is still under review.

As this particular trend grows in other markets, regulators should carefully study options to ensure that these players fall under financial regulations and can be properly supervised.

In the Philippines, the central bank regulations on the Truth and Lending Act were amended to ensure coverage of all financial providers including pawnshops, traditional microfinance institutions as well as peer-to-peer lending platforms.

Industry associations also play a role in analyzing the complaint statistics and proposing measures to avoid recurrence of systemic consumer complaints29) Regulator empowered to take appropriate measures to protect investors in the event of financial distress of a financial player 30) Escrow account rules are clear, especially in the case of P2P lenders, and ensure proper management and/or timely payout of escrowed funds31) An appropriate digital credit financial education and information campaign is developed to increase the financial literacy 32) As much as possible, other governmental as well as non-government consumer protection groups and industry players participate in supporting financial education around digital credit 33) Mass media should also be encouraged by regulators to understand consumer protection issues and help to disseminate best practices 34) The impact of consumer education and empowerment should be measured through broad-based household surveys that are repeated from time to time to see if the current policies are having the desired impact on the digital credit marketplace35) Financial regulators and other relevant regulatory agencies (Securities and Exchange Commission and/or Telecommunication Regulators) as well as competition authorities should consult and coordinate with one another in order to avoid regulatory arbitrage as well as ensure the development of an appropriate competitive marketplace 36) Competition policy in digital financial services should also consider the impact of competition issues on consumer welfare, and especially planned or actual limits on choice 37) Competition authorities and/or regulators should conduct and publish periodic assessments of competition among emerging financial players, as well as engage with the industry to make recommendations on how competition among digital credit providers can be optimized It should be noted that not all digital credit players will fall under financial regulations.


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