Getting ready for Client Protection Certification



In the initiative to get an international certification for early next year Viator is preparing for Clients Protection Certification. As one of the Microcredit organization Viator also decided to become one of the certified institutions through the Client Protection Certification program. Viator is committed to the wellbeing of small entrepreneurs, rural producers in different regions of Azerbaijan and provides 4 types of loan products in order to meet the expectations of the clients. The reason why Viator wants to get this Certification is: we value our clients and prioritize them. Viator is keeping clients FIRST!

The Client Protection Certification is an independent, third party evaluation to publicity recognize financial institutions that meet adequate standards of care in how they treat clients. It enables financial institutions to demonstrate adherence to the microfinance industry’s Client Protection Principles and contributes to a more stable microfinance industry by encouraging practices that aim to ensure prudent, transparent and respectful treatment of clients. Client Protection Principles include minimum standards that clients should expect to receive when doing business with a microfinance institution. In order to get the Certification Viator should comply with the indicators corresponding to 30 standards of care for client protection. There are 7 Client Protection Certification Principles:

1. Appropriate Product Design and Delivery Channels;

Viator Microcredit should take adequate care to design products and delivery channels in such a way that they do not cause clients harm. Client characteristics should be taken into account when product and delivery channels will be designed.

2. Prevention of Over-Indebtedness;

The organization should take care in all phases of their credit process to determine that clients have the capacity to repay without becoming overloaded with debts. Additionally, our responsibility should be the implementation and monitoring of the internal systems that support prevention of over –indebtedness and should improve market level credit risk management.

3. Transparency;

Our organization should provide a clear and understandable communication in the manner and language clients can understand and make right decisions. Transparent information on pricing, terms and conditions of the loan products should be highlighted.

4. Responsible Pricing;

Pricing, terms and conditions of the loan products should be set in a way that is affordable to client and allow the financial institution to be sustainable.

5. Fair and Respectful Treatment of Clients;

Fair and respectful treatment for all the clients without discrimination, abuse, aggression or corruption should be provided to all the clients, even during the loan sales and debt collection processes.

6. Privacy of Client Data;

The privacy of Client Data should be respected and followed in accordance to the laws and regulations of individual jurisdictions.

7. Mechanism for Complaints resolution;

The organization should have timely and responsive mechanisms for complaints and problem resolution for their clients.

These are the core principles for the Certification. Each of these principles consists of several standards. Most of these principles are already done by Viator such as Privacy of Client Data, Mechanism for complaints resolution; Prevention of Over-Indebtedness. We have a special guidelines, policies and procedures developed for this reason. The Executive Director of Viator has already signed the Certification Agreement between Viator and Microfinanza Rating agency, License Certifier, on 30th of August, 2013.

The responsibility for getting the Certification on Client Protection is on Viator’s Research and Development Department, which is supervised by Zeynab Hasanzade. She works together with the branches in order to find out what are the best ways and solutions in order to comply with 7 principles. “Prioritizing our commitments and responsibilities towards the clients is the main reason for the Certification. Conducting surveys and meetings with staff also helps to work out the standards”, - mentioned Zeynab Hasanzade. All these procedures are focused on the clients and for the clients, because we want to be the best in this area and hopefully Viator will be one of the deserving and respectable certified members for the Client Protection Certification. All the staff works hard for it, because we are the team and together we can do everything. Good luck to us!!!