Dechen Dolkar 

World Consumer Rights Day, this year calls on businesses, governments and policymakers to ensure that digital finance is inclusive, safe, data protected and private and sustainable.

Every year, on March 15, World Consumer Rights Day is observed. The theme this year is fair digital finance.

Digitalisation in financial services through technological and FinTech innovation has brought significant impact to financial consumers in terms of greater access and wider choice to financial products and services at cheaper cost supporting financial inclusion.

“While it brings immense benefits to consumers, it also exposes them to new risks such as online theft and fraud and loss of data privacy,” officials from the Office of the Consumer Protection (OCP) said.

Officials said that changing the digital environment and increasing and evolving nature of risks to consumers demands more effective, risk-based and innovative consumer protection actions.

The official said that OCP strives for fair digital finance and focuses on innovative regulatory approaches to bolster the protection of consumers while at the same time encouraging consumers to know their rights, understand fair digital finance and act responsibly.

According to the Director General of Consumers International, the rapidly evolving nature of digital financial services is affecting how Bhutanese spend and save.

“There is a great opportunity to create technologies that are safe, inclusive, data protected and private, and sustainable for consumers of digital financial services,” he said.

He said that to make this a reality for consumers, the global consumer movement will mobilise key decision-makers such as businesses and governments to ensure fair digital finance for all.