Consumer protection must be taken into consideration in planning new types of mobile commerce. Otherwise problems are sure to arise.
Special attention should be paid to the following:
- clear presentation of essential information in marketing and order confirmation
- minors' special position as users of mobile services and the target of marketing
- identifying the contracting party and checking age
- secure payment
The development of mobile commerce has brought new challenges for consumer protection. Existing regulations concerning distance selling, for instance, must be taken into consideration in planning new services.
Existing regulations may also need to be opened and clarified with regard to mobile commerce. The OECD Committee on Consumer Policy is addressing consumer issues and policy challenges in this area.
In the opinion of the Finnish Consumer Agency, the present OECD Guidelines for Consumer Protection in the Context of Electronic Commerce (1999) do not provide sufficient answers to questions, since they were prepared mainly for web-based services.
Meeting consumer protection challenges in the new environment will not create barriers to trade but on the contrary will promote the spread of mobile services.
Consumer confidence is vital in developing mobile commerce. This can be enhanced by complying with consumer protection regulations.
Finnish Consumer Agency's statement to the OECD Committee on Consumer Policy: M-commerce and the relevance of the 1999 Guidelines on E-commerce (pdf) (www.kuluttajavirasto.fi)
OECD, Committee on Consumer Policy: Mobile commerce (pdf) (www.oecd.org/sti/ict)