Mobile Consumer Protections: Maximizing Opportunity, Minimizing Risk
September 5, 2014
There is one lie that almost all of us have told multiple times in our lives: “I have read and understand the above terms and conditions.”
Buried somewhere in pages of fine print preceding this statement are explanations of our consumer protections. In an unspoken agreement, the writers of the contract pretend to explain consumer protection in an understandable way and the consumers pretend to understand it.
Pages of fine print create distrust among consumers. Juntos is working with our partner banks on a different approach to consumer protection that builds trust in order to increase account engagement.
As the 2014 Responsible Finance Forum highlighted, digital finance presents both opportunities and risks. We seek to maximize the opportunities for our partners while minimizing the risks for their customers, who are our users. We build trust between our partners and their customers by engaging our users in a warm, personalized conversation using an automated messaging platform. These messages turn any phone in the world into a financial coach that drives financial habit creation to increase usage of accounts.
In contrast to the fine print contract, we help our partners provide information bit by bit, message by message. Our users deepen their understanding about their rights and the costs over time and in context. In addition, although it may seem counter-intuitive, our experience has shown that making costs clear and giving users information about how they can “exit” actually increases adoption of a product.
Ours is a slower approach to consumer protection. It is more difficult. But providing consumer protection information within messages designed to change behavior leads to more informed decisions, greater trust, and increased use of products among consumers.