The Chairman of Tanzania Consumer Forum (TCF), Mr. Leo Ngowi, highlighted the role of a comprehensive, collaborative and coordinated strategy to ensure that everyone has access to fair digital financial services.
Mr. Ngowi said the complex and rapidly evolving nature of digital financial services demonstrates the need for innovative regulatory approaches and digital financial services and products that prioritize consumer protection and empowerment.
He made the comments in Dar es Salaam on Saturday, ahead of World Consumer Rights Day, which will be observed nationally in Zanzibar from March 12-15.
“There is now more need than ever to build on our knowledge and collaborate to understand what fair financial services look like in the digital age, and what role consumer-centric financial services can play in global concerns like than sustainability,” he said.
The TCF chair said collaboration was key because digital financial services have introduced new risks while compounding existing risks, which can lead to unfair outcomes for consumers and leave the most vulnerable behind in a society of increasingly cashless.
March 15 has been designated as World Consumer Rights Day since 1983. Each year, it is an opportunity to highlight the fundamental rights of all consumers, as well as the need to recognize and defend their demands. This year’s theme is “equitable digital finance”.
Higher rates, inadequate services or products, some individuals using the networks to defraud others and not getting adequate service in time, he said, are among the concerns that directly affect consumers in various sectors.
Other cases include deception in various products, such as size, volume and weight being reduced without the knowledge of the customer; confidentiality of payment services; additional levies on electronic services without the customer’s knowledge; and product descriptions written in a language that the customer does not understand.
Ms. Hadia Abdulrahman Othman, Executive Secretary of the Council of Customer Representatives (CRC) of the Zanzibar Utilities Regulatory Authority (ZURA), said that this year the forum has partnered with them to organize Customers Day. consumer rights in the islands in order to exchange their expertise.
“TCF is made up of government institutions established under the statutes of the Tanzanian Parliament and the statutes of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar to uphold and protect the rights and interests of consumers,” she said.
According to Ms. Othman, the platform addresses cross-cutting issues in regulated and unregulated sectors and establishes coordinated strategies to address these challenges to enhance consumer interest in the nation’s development.
TCF will hold a week-long event at Idrissa Abdul Wakil Hall in Stone Town, Zanzibar from March 12, 2022, according to it.