Technology and vulnerable consumers

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 - 18:30
Tech for Good

Britain’s consumers spend £1.2 trillion on goods and services each year. When markets work well, this spending can be a force for good. But when these markets fail, it is often the vulnerable who are hit hardest.

We’re really pleased to be working with Citizens Advice to bring you this meetup. They've seen firsthand how people on the lowest incomes often end up paying the most for energy, insurance, banking and telecoms - while the best accounts and rates are reserved for those with the ability to shop around. The poorest pensioners and families in Britain, for example, are paying an extra £250 million each year for being loyal to their energy supplier.

But vulnerability in markets doesn’t just affect people on a low income. Caring responsibilities, mental or physical health problems, or a lack of financial understanding are all reasons consumers struggle. And the problems aren’t always financial - it might be a poor user experience that doesn’t offer the support or functionality they need.

This meetup will discuss how technology can be used to help balance the field, putting power back into the hands of all consumers. We’re excited by the emergence of technology to help people manage their money, find the best deals, switch accounts and stand up for their consumer rights. It’s a great start, but we believe there’s the potential to do much more. By designing with vulnerability in mind, tech can have a hugely positive impact on consumer markets as a whole.

You’ll hear a bit about Citizens Advice consumer policy work to set the scene and how they’re using digital to help consumers. Then we’ll highlight some exciting tech for good projects and hear from other founders. Full line up will follow soon.

If you’d like to speak about a tech for good project you’re working on in this area then get in touch.

We're grateful to the Ministry of Justice Digital and Technology team for hosting this meetup. To get through security you'll need to provide your full name and organisation when you sign up, and bring along some photo ID on the day. 

We charge £3 for this meetup to help cover the cost and manage attendee numbers. But we don't want this to become a barrier to attending - just drop us an email if you need a free ticket. 

Ministry of Justice

102 Petty France