Saving and investing using Fintech: How to harmonize innovation and consumer protection


Maryse Guénette


Option consommateurs




There are numerous companies today that encourage consumers to save and invest online using a “robo-advisor.” These companies are generating tremendous momentum, yet little is known about their practices. What kinds of representations do they make to consumers? What kinds of agreements do they have with them? What rules do they have in place to protect the information consumers disclose and the money they entrust to them? Are they responsible in the event of problems? What dispute resolution mechanisms do they have in place?

Option consommateurs report also examines the type of consumers attracted by FinTechs. Who are they? What motivates them? What do they know about the Fintech companies? What is their perception of them? How do they behave when they use such services? According to their survey of 800 Canadian consumers in four provinces (Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia), for example, the current users of these platforms or those who have used them in the past three years are largely men between the ages of 35 and 54. However, the next generation—millennials—are not far behind.

Finally, Option consommateurs explores whether the current legislation in Canada is sufficient to protect consumers who choose to do business with a FinTech company for savings and investment purposes, and examines existing legislation in several other jurisdictions to identify practices that could serve as a source of inspiration for Canada.

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OCA Funded Research
This research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.

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Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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