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New Consumer Protection Act clarifies personal data storage rules and changes payment method listing

The amendments to the Consumer Protection Act entering into force in October 2023 will have an impact on e-commerce. The Consumer Protection Act safeguards the rights of consumers and makes sure that companies do business in a fair and transparent manner.

Amendments concerning remote sales, that is e-commerce, are coming to the Consumer Protection Act. After the amendment enters into force, when a consumer buys products online, the trader will have to present the available payment methods in a specific order in connection with concluding the contract.

This mandatory order is as follows:

  1. Payment methods not including the possibility to apply for or use credit or get other respites for payment, such as online bank payments.
  2. Payment methods that may include the possibility to apply for or use credit or get other respites for payment, such as PayPal.
  3. Payment methods that mean applying for or using credit or other respite for payment, for example, credit card payments or instalments.

Furthermore, traders will not be permitted to set any payment method as the default choice. The Act also applies to payment service providers, credit issuers and other traders.

The Act’s provisions on authentication and saving data will be clarified

The amended Consumer Protection Act will provide for the verification of a consumer’s identity and the storage of their personal data. This will come into effect in situations such as when a consumer buys products online and chooses a payment method in which payment is not made immediately in connection with the order, but later. In such cases, the trader has to verify the consumer’s identity with an authentication method meeting the requirements of the Act on Strong Electronic Identification and Electronic Trust Services or the Payment Services Act.

Furthermore, the data used to verify the consumer’s identity must be stored for five years. These data storage requirements do not apply in all cases, however. Some exceptions include the following situations:

  • the Payment Services Act applies to the payment method;
  • the contract specifies that the consumer pays the purchase price when receiving the goods;
  • the service will be provided by other means than distance communication, and the service provider offers the respite for payment on its own initiative; or
  • the transaction concerns the purchase of goods by telephone sales.

The purpose of the amendments to the Consumer Protection Act is to improve the rights of consumers and better secure their identity in remote sales. Every consumer should take a closer look at the new provisions to know their rights before making a purchase.

The Consumer Protection Act protects against unfair or deceitful commercial practices

The purpose of the Consumer Protection Act is to protect consumers and ensure that they enjoy certain basic rights when buying goods and services. Among other things, the Consumer Protection Act affords consumers the right to obtain accurate and sufficient information on products and services, the right to cancel an agreement within a certain period of time, and the right to complain if a product or service is defective or does not live up to expectations.

The Act is also intended to promote fair competition and prevent abuses by companies at the expense of consumers.

The Consumer Protection Act obliges companies to follow certain rules. According to the Act, a trader must inform consumers of the terms of a contract, comply with certain standards regarding the quality of products and services, and refrain from misleading or aggressive trading practices. The Act also specifies a maximum for credit costs.

The Consumer Protection Act was last amended in early 2023, expanding the scope of the Act to door-to-door selling. Door-to-door selling refers to concluding the sales contract somewhere else than on the trader’s premises.

Illustration: Aija Malmioja