FCCPC clamps down on loan apps, orders Google to delete 16 of them
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has directed Google to immediately delete Swiftcash, Easynaira, and 16 other loan apps from the Play store.
The Commission in a statement signed by its CEO, Babatunde Irukera, yesterday, said it discovered that the apps have been operating on Google Play store without regulatory approval or in violation of Limited Interim Regulatory/ Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending.
Other apps to be removed from the Google platform include Getloan, Joy Cash-Loan, Camelloan, Cashlawn, Nairaloan, Eaglecash, Moneytreefinance Made Easy, Luckyloan and Cashme.
Crediting, Swiftkash, Hen Credit loan, Nut loan, Cash door, Cashpal, and Nairaeasy gist loan are also affected.
Irukera said the Commission would continue to engage with Google to clarify how and why apps that have not received relevant regulatory approvals are available on Google’s Playstore.
“Under the Guidelines, only Digital Money Lenders (DMLs) that have been subjected to regulatory scrutiny and compliance evidenced by written approval from the Commission are allowed on Playstore. The Commission noted that some DMLs have resorted to the use of Android Package Kits (APK) file formats to reach consumers outside of the Google Playstore.”
“This appears to be a device by some of these DMLs to evade or avoid regulatory compliance,” he said.
The FCCPC bossa added that compliance with the Guidelines is mandatory for all DMLs regardless of whether they intend to be placed on Playstore, operate by APK file formats, or any other means for that matter. According to him, failure to comply with the Guidelines is a violation of law and renders any such operation illegal.
Nonetheless, Irukera said all approved digital lenders would now have to revalidate their registration by resubmitting their information to the Commission.
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