Google removes illicit loan apps from Play Store

GOOGLE has set a policy to purge Play Store in Nigeria of illicit loan apps.

This was announced in an official post and will be effective from January 31, 2023.

Google requires that all loan apps must be licensed before they can operate in the Play Store.

Accordingly, the policy applies to “apps which offer loans directly, lead generators, and those who connect consumers with third-party lenders.”

The new policy lists requirements for loan apps in Nigeria, Kenya, India, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Loan apps in Nigeria must possess approval documents from the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) or risk withdrawal from the platform.

The policy states, ‘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.’

The notice further states that certain information or documents must be provided upon Google Play’s request.

Meanwhile, Google has made provisions for the other countries – Kenya, Indonesia, India, and the Phillipines – using a Personal Loan App Declaration form.

Google gave an ultimatum of 30 days from November 16, 2022, for illicit loan apps to comply with the new directives or be removed by January 31, 2023.

Recently, the FCCPC checked illegal loan apps over criminal activities and asked Google to expel four loan apps from the Play Store. The apps are Maxi Credit, Here4U, ChaCha, and SoftPay.

The ICIR had reported the unethical practices of some loan apps.


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