Publications
Published on September 3, 2019

Did you see my tweet? Monitoring financial consumer protection via social media

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Summary

Social media is changing customer service by shifting the ways in which consumers seek resolution of problems and the channels that firms make available to consumers. The ability for consumers to directly, instantly, and publicly praise or chastise the service of a firm has led to increased accountability and new ways to remotely resolve customer issues swiftly.

In Kenya, the “#KOT” or “Kenyans on Twitter” community has become an important channel for public discourse on a wide range of topics.[1] This includes financial services. In Kenya financial consumer protection via channels such as government authorities is still very limited, and cases of mistreatment of financial customers are commonly reported in the Kenyan media, often with no resolution for the consumers.

This frustration has led some to turn to social media to both attempt to resolve their problems and, it appears, publicly call out consumer protection abuses. Through this active Twitter population, a clearer view is emerging of the extent and type of problems that occur with financial services and how providers and government agencies do—or do not—respond.

 

[1] Nyabola, Nanjala. (2018). Digital democracy, analogue politics: How the internet era is transforming Kenya. Zed Books.

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