Institutions and providers of financial products and services can embed responsible finance practices into their business operations: from strategy and governance, to customer acquisition and relationship management, product design and delivery, risk management, and financial education. Institutions can enhance business by taking a strategic approach to managing internal risks, combined with providing customer services, including financial education to increase trust, uptake and loyalty.
Industries, business associations and networks have also played a market leadership role by promoting awareness initiatives, including: voluntary commitments, code of conducts, standards and practices to improve consumer protection and financial education. Development finance institutions, funders and investors have continued to implement responsible finance practices, policies and procedures through investments and capacity building support, in partnership with market industry leaders.
Publications and Tools
Mystery Shopping for Financial Services
Rafe Mazer, Xavier Gine and Cristina Martinez
Policy makers are increasingly integrating consumer research methodologies to monitor the market, gather insights, and inform policymaking.
Smart Operations Tool
The Smart Campaign
This tool suggests appropriate roles for 11 of the most common areas of microfinance operations. FIs can use this tool to assign client protection responsibilities to each operational department and to understand how responsibilities are shared among operational departments.
Smart Guide to Client Protection Assessments
The Smart Campaign
The Smart Campaign offers three options for a financial institution (FI) to evaluate its client protection practices. To help make the most appropriate choice, the Smart Campaign created a helpful and comprehensive resource for FIs, “A Guide to Client Protection Assessments.”
Video blog: Smart Certified Institutions Speak Out on Certification
Posted by The Smart Campaign
To date, 44 financial institutions around the world have been certified as meeting the Smart Campaign’s standards for consumer protection. Those institutions, which adhere to the Campaign’s Client Protection Principles including transparency, fair and respectful treatment, responsible pricing, and prevention of over-indebtedness, collectively serve more than 22 million low-income clients.
Client Protection Certification is an independent, third party evaluation to publicly recognize financial institutions that meet adequate standards of care in how they treat clients. This map shows the group of global institutions that are currently Smart Campaign Client Protection Certified.