In its opinion, the EESC insists on the need to invest in peoples' digital and financial literacy in order to enable consumers to correctly understand their rights and duties relating to financial contracts concluded at a distance, particularly the right to withdrawal from a contract and the right to obtain more information in a pre-contractual phase. The EESC also states that a balanced approach between the digital and the "brick and mortar" experience is crucial. In this respect, the EESC calls for the right to ask for "human intervention" in financial services at a distance to be guaranteed.
Retail payments for the EU (Communication) - Related Opinions
The objective of this proposal is to improve sustainability reporting at the least possible cost, in order to better harness the potential of the European single market to contribute to the transition towards a fully sustainable and inclusive economic and financial system in accordance with the European Green Deal and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The objective of this proposal is to bring the benefits of Regulation 924/2009 to people and businesses in Member States outside the euro area, and put an end to the high cost of intra-EU cross-border transactions in euro. This proposal will enhance transparency for consumers by disclosing the full cost of a cross-border transaction. It will help them compare currency conversion service offers before starting a payment transaction involving a currency conversion.
With this opinion the EESC welcomes the Commission's initiative to prioritise the fight against cybercrime, as it aims to protect Europeans and businesses from cybercrime networks, and includes measures to boost confidence in the use of electronic payment instruments. The EESC is of the view that the benefits of digitisation must be flanked by mechanisms able to meet the accompanying challenges, so that the European economy and Europeans can enjoy the information society to the full. For the EESC it is important to establish deterrents and mechanisms to inform the public about the modus operandi of offenders as well, through awareness-raising campaigns conducted by law enforcement authorities in the Member States.
The Commission has identified three main strands of further work to move a step closer to a genuine Single Market for financial services:
Increase consumer trust and empower consumers when buying services at home or from other Member States.
Reduce legal and regulatory obstacles affecting businesses when seeking to expand abroad.
Support the development of an innovative digital world which can overcome some of the existing barriers to the Single Market.
With this opinion the EESC takes the opportunity to comment on how the European market for retail financial services can be further opened up. The EESC welcomes that the Commission is on track and has an ambitious programme for implementing the Action Plan on Building a Capital Markets Union, also endorsing that consumers should be given the opportunity, whenever possible, to compare different products, so they can make an informed choice.