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Visa Europe discusses long term financial solutions for consumers

Date

17 Feb 2010

Sections

Health & Consumers

Brussels, 28 January 2010 – Visa Europe yesterday brought together a range of
stakeholders from the payments & consumer sector as well as European policymakers
to discuss best practices and possible long-term solutions to improve consumers’
financial capability. A half day conference held in the European Parliament in Brussels
addressed issues such as the importance of a tailored approach to educate consumers
and the role regulators and financial institutions have in financial education. Speakers
and participants agreed that public and private bodies need to work together to find a
common solution on financial education.

Professor Umberto Filotto, Chair of the conference and renowned Professor of Banking
Management and Retail Banking at Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”, presented the
latest results of his studies on financial education which led to the development of a
Monitorata (www.monitorata.it), a self credit assessment and educational tool.
Professor Filotto said: “In order to allocate resources wisely it is absolutely necessary
to develop reliable methodologies to evaluate the effectiveness (in terms of learning
and of behavioural redressing) of the different educational initiatives. This is the
objective of our future research and we are convinced that this program should have a
European perspective.”

The European Commission representatives stressed the importance of financial
education for consumers and announced that an event to launch a new module on
financial literacy in Dolceta (www.dolceta.eu ), the online adult consumer education
tool, financed by the Commission, is planned for the spring.

Monica Monaco, Senior Manager Regulatory Affairs at Visa Europe, explained the
background to this event: “We believe that balanced markets rely on consumers’ ability
to make informed choices between different products. The creation of a European
single market for financial services brings huge opportunities and choice for
consumers. But it is only when consumers understand how to get the most value from
the increased number of products and services on offer, that they will be able to reap
those benefits”.

During the event, participants discussed the effectiveness of individual initiatives which
are springing up across Europe ranging from web portals, such as Visa Europe’s
https://www.bettermoneyskills.com/home.aspx, to consumer leaflets, interactive
modules and face to face training. Participants then discussed solutions to help
consumers cope with dramatic economic changes before exploring the idea of
developing a European Financial Capability Action Plan.

Hosting the event, Member of the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella, summarised
the issue by saying that “It is absolutely crucial that relevant measures are taken to
ensure that European consumers understand the financial products they are buying”
- ends -

Notes to editors

About Visa Europe
Visa Europe is a non profit-making organisation, owned and operated by its 4,600 European member
banks and was incorporated in July 2004. In October 2007, Visa Europe became independent of the
new global Visa Inc., with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe.

As a dedicated European payment system it is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of
European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European
Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.
Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world. In addition, Visa/PLUS is one of the world’s
largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in over 170 countries.

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