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ICT sector vows to provide fair digital finance services

The Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector is concerned about the experiences of consumers on ICT goods and services, especially in the area of digital finance that has been growing in terms of consumer consumption rate.

Speaking during the commemoration of the World Consumer Rights Day in Mombasa, ICT regulators have vowed to try as much as possible to ensure the sector of financial services from the ICT platform is fair, equitable and just.

This year’s theme being; Fair Digital Finance, the Communications Authority (CA) has vowed to regulate the telecommunication infrastructure to eradicate frauds and con artists from harassing digital finance consumers.

CA Director General Mr Ezra Chiloba, said that since the invention of M-Pesa services, a lot of customers have been complaining of fraud, counterfeits and being subjects of con artists to the extent that some of them are losing money in this particular space.

Chiloba said the authority would ensure that telecommunication service providers provide customers with efficient and effective knowledge of their services to enhance their experience of using the digital platform.

“We as the regulators of the content service providers will ensure that no one shall come to a customer asking for details in the pretense of providing financial support if that entity is not licensed by the Communication Authority of Kenya,” he said.

Chiloba noted that the cyber space should be safe and secure by ensuring that the systems upon which financial services ride, are actually secure and available throughout with very minimal downtime.

“I see quite a lot of work on a daily basis to enhance customer experiences when it comes to the ICT sector. We promise to provide safe and fair digital finance by regulating the telecommunication service providers,” added Chiloba.

He urged customers who use online shopping to be more vigilant by ensuring the service provider is registered to avoid dealing with con artists.

Central Bank of Kenya Governor (CBK) Dr. Patrick Njoroge gives a keynote address during the 2022 World Consumer Rights Day celebration themed ‘Fair digital Finance’ held at the PrideInn Paradise Hotel, Mombasa. Photo by Andrew Hinga.

Chiloba called on agencies to work together and help eradicate the problem of counterfeit goods and con artists that has now become rampant in the country.

“We have a mechanism put in place whereby customers can send any complaint or counterfeit products once one has undergone such experience,” he said.

On his part, Governor Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), Dr Patrick Njoroge, has asked payment service providers to harmonise the charges on customer phone networks following complaints by users.

Njoroge noted that the charges should be appropriately priced and affordable.

“In the beginning, we didn’t have a sense of how to price these services but now we have a clear sense on how we are going to be pricing them. We have spoken to the payment service providers that they cannot charge whatever they want and we are going to evaluate and be sure the price is fair and affordable to customers,” said Njoroge.

He also appreciated the long journey that has seen the country having the services all over, noting that having more players in the market would at least help in lowering the charges with time.

“We are happy that we have started on this journey. We are not there yet but we are on the right track,” added Njoroge.

By Chari Suche

 

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