UAFIC gets $100,000 from USAID to create mediation platform for handling financial consumer complaints
UAFIC gets $100,000 from USAID to create mediation platform for handling financial consumer complaintsKYIV. April 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Ukrainian Association of Fintech and Innovation Companies (UAFIC) has been awarded a grant of $100,000 from the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project to create a national mediation platform, FinSkarga, for handling financial consumer complaints.
According to a statement of UAFIC, the goal of this project is to establish an online voluntary mechanism for settling complaints in the financial market.
A national survey of financial literacy commissioned by the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project indicated that many Ukrainians have complaints against financial services providers (banks, finance companies) but simply accept this as a fact of life. Moreover, 45% of consumers do not even know whom to complain to, or where to apply for the protection of their rights. Courts are viewed as an expensive and slow alternative for dispute resolution with financial institutions.
"We are working to create a platform that will allow consumers to communicate their problems about financial services to banks and finance companies… We believe that it will help increase the overall level of financial literacy and public confidence in the financial sector. It will also help financial services providers identify weaknesses in their products or procedures, and help them to improve their services," Board Chairman of UAFIC Rostyslav Dyuk said.
In his opinion, the mediation platform will lessen the load on the regulators and judiciary.
The association said that In addition to receiving, monitoring and analyzing consumer complaints, FinSkarga, may serve as a mediator, providing both parties to a dispute with an opportunity to access counselling assistance on certain issues and to reach agreement.
With the help of this platform, the UAFIC will also conduct studies to identify the main reasons for consumer complaints when receiving and using financial services.
The platform will be pilot tested in August 2020, and its official launch is scheduled for the beginning of October 2020. The service will be available on any application subject to Internet connection.
"This will be the first independent platform in Ukraine that will allow individuals to resolve their disputes with financial services providers quickly, free of charge, and without applying to the regulator or the court," the association said.