St Kitts and Nevis: On the occurrence of World Consumer Rights Day, on March 15, 2022, the Minister of International Trade, Commerce, Consumer Affairs & Labour – Wendy C. Phipps, has the spotlight on the rights and entitlements of consumers of goods and services which are purchased from manufacturers, suppliers and sellers.
This year, the day was observed under the theme – “Fair Digital Finance.” The Minister of International Trade stated that the theme has focused on the importance of consumers’ access to financial services with the help of digital, electronic and online platforms. She further outlined that the digital platforms have assisted in boosting the ease of doing business.
While giving a brief of the “Fair Digital Finance,” the minister mentioned, “Fair Digital Finance also means the following:-
1)That the necessary digital infrastructure, be it the internet, the mobile phone or computer, would be in place to facilitate our access to financial products and services which are provided to customers by banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, cash transfer businesses, etc.;
2) That all consumers, regardless of their socio-economic status, should have access to digital financial services;
3) That when digital financial services are made available to consumers, the cost for such would be fair and affordable;
4)That vulnerable groups such as our youth, single mothers, the poor and persons living with disabilities should be included in the access to, and design of affordable, digital financial services; and
5) That Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) must be included in digital financial platforms in order to enable them to provide goods and services to customers.”
She further stated, “The Group of 20 of the world’s richest countries would have developed in 2016 some eight (8) High-Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion. These principles would have had input from the private sector, non-G20 countries, international organisations and Central Banks.
They are as follows:
1) Promote a Digital Approach to Financial Inclusion;
2) Balance Innovation and risk to Achieve Digital Financial Inclusion;
3) Provide an Enabling and Proportionate Legal and Regulatory Framework for Digital Financial Inclusion.”