Client Protection Certification


Client protection certification is an independent, third party evaluation to publicly recognize financial institutions that meet adequate standards of care to implement all of the Client protection certification throughout its operations, product offerings and treatment of clients.


“Certification is about financial institutions actively demonstrating their commitment to the people they serve and microfinance stakeholders working towards a more stable industry.” Isabelle Barrès, Director, the Smart Campaign



To provide the microfinance and responsible finance industry with independent, high quality ratings and information services, aiming at enhancing transparency, facilitating investments and promoting best practices worldwide



Improve client protection policies and practices during the certification process;
Demonstrate sound client protection to clients, funders, regulators and the general public;
Get a public mark of achievement and differentiate as a pro-consumer financial institution




To be certified, a Micro Finance financial institution needs to comply with all the Certification Standards derived from the seven client protection principles:

  • Appropriate Product Design and Delivery Channels
  • Prevention of Over indebtedness
  • Transparency
  • Responsible Pricing
  • Fair and Respectful Treatment of Clients
  • Privacy of Client Data
  • Mechanisms for Complaints Resolution

The Certification process consists of offsite and onsite verification by our trained and independent analysts. The onsite verification includes focus group discussions with clients.
Certification can be carried out as a stand-alone process or combined to Microfinance Institutional Ratingor Social Rating, with more efficiency and reduced costs