Google tightens the noose on loan apps in Nigeria, Kenya, others

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Loan apps in Nigeria, Kenya, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, will have to meet additional requirements from January to either remain on the Play Store or submit new apps.

Loan apps in those countries will be required to submit proof of license to operate, and failure to comply will mean risking removal from the Play Store. In Kenya for instance, such apps that have applied for licensing by the Central Bank of Kenya, and can produce the proof of the same, may be allowed to continue to operate.

“Personal loan apps in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nigeria, and Kenya must complete the additional proof of eligibility requirements below,” Google announced in its support page.

In Nigeria, where there seems to be a rising issue of name-shaming and privacy invasion by loan apps, Google said:

Digital Money Lenders (DML) must adhere to and complete the LIMITED INTERIM REGULATORY/ REGISTRATION FRAMEWORK AND GUIDELINES FOR DIGITAL LENDING, 2022 (as may be amended from time to time) by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) of Nigeria and obtain a verifiable approval letter from the FCCPC.”

In addition, such apps in Nigeria, must upon Google Play’s request, provide additional information or documents relating to their compliance with the applicable regulatory and licensing requirements.

Almost similar rules have been applied by Google in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines; with Google adding some more stringent measures to protect consumers and users of such apps.

In September, India continued its crackdown on Chinese-owned online loan apps. India’s financial fighting agency raided the offices of fintech Paytm and Razorpay and Cashfree sometimes in September.

The raid was the latest in a series of investigations into the activities of loan apps in the country. The raid affected high-profile India firms and businesses controlled by Chinese after several complaints and petition alleging “extortion and harassment of the public who had availed small amount of loans through the mobile apps.”

Nigeria too not left out

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) in August, ordered fintech companies to stop providing payment and transaction services to digital money lenders, also known as loan sharks.

The executive vice chairman of the FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera told reporters during an enforcement exercise at the premises of some lenders in Lagos. The FCCPC vice chairman directed fintech companies including Flutterwave, Opay, Paystack and Monify to desist from servicing digital lenders under probe.

In addition, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) were also asked to stop providing server, hosting or other services to the companies.

While addressing the press, Irukera said the Federal High Court had already empowered the commission to search and seize properties of subjects of investigation.

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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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