Nigerian loan apps to be removed from Google Play Store if they continue to harass customers

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July 12, 2023
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2 min read
Image by Kris from Pixabay

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) plans to ask Google to remove loan apps that harass customers from its Play Store.

Babatunde Irukera, FCCPC CEO, claims that loan apps harass borrowers and warns that if any loan app is found to have harassed or slandered customers, there will not be a second chance.  

He also said that anyone can use the commission's website to report any kind of harassment, and the issue will be dealt with as soon as possible.  

Remember, the federal government and some loan sharks engaged in a protracted legal battle over these online loan apps' harassing and defamatory behaviour toward defaulters and other unethical practices. 

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This resulted in the development of a "limited and interim regulatory framework" that loan sharks must follow.  

In November 2022, Google Play announced it’d be updating its Developer Program Policy, which became effective on January 31, 2023. 

These updates show that digital money lenders in Nigeria must conform to rules established by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC). 

They are also required to provide Google Play with other information that proves their compliance with the appropriate regulatory authorities in the country. 

In April 2023, the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the FCCPC collaborated to develop the Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending in April 2023. 

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Consequently, the regulator barred some loan apps from the Google Play store and approved 173 online lenders that agreed to abide by its rules.  

Irukera said Google Play Store could only host 180 loan apps as part of the organisation's partnership with Google.    

In April 2023, Google revised its personal loans policy. As part of the changes, personal loan apps won’t access users' contacts and photos after Wednesday, May 31, 2023.

In June 2023, the FCCPC said it was investigating over 400 complaints concerning the lending industry.

Vincent Olatunji, National Commissioner of the Nigerian Data Protection Commission (NDPC), said that the FCCPC's new mandate would subject lending organisations to the law.

The mandate required loan organisations to seek compliance and clearance from NDPC before approving online lenders.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
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She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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