Google is now making sure that loan apps in Kenya follow the rules. They need to prove they have a license to operate. If they ca not show this, they might get kicked out of the Play Store, where you download apps.
But there is a chance for those who have applied for a license from the Central Bank of Kenya. If they can prove it, they might not get removed.
Google’s move came a bit late. It happened two months after the Digital Credit Providers Regulations started. These rules are meant to protect people from bad loan apps that use tricky tactics to get their money back.
Now, all loan apps in Kenya, whether they are new or old, must show the right documents and info. If they do not, they could be banned from the Play Store by the end of January next year. This is similar to what Google did in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Google also said that loan apps in Nigeria need to get a verifiable approval letter from the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).
Even though Kenya’s rules are stricter, the FCCPC’s rules, which started in August, also want lending apps to be clear about their fees and show how they handle feedback and complaints.
Kenya’s new rules clean up bad digital lenders and boost industry growth
Kenya and Nigeria are big tech places in Africa. They have lots of apps that give people quick loans without needing anything valuable in return. But because there are not strict rules, some bad people are doing bad things with these apps. So, the authorities are now doing the right things to protect people.
In Kenya, out of 288 apps that asked for permission from the Central Bank, only 10 got it. Some popular ones like Zenka and Tala, which Silicon Valley supports, do not have licenses yet.
These digital lenders in Kenya can not threaten people or shame them if they ca not pay. They can not put people’s info online or call them without permission.
The apps look at your phone data, like contacts and messages, to decide if they can trust you with a loan. But some bad lenders have been sharing this info with other people.
Now, 40 loan apps in Kenya are being checked for breaking data rules because people complained.
The new rules make apps tell you how much they will charge you and what you need to know before you get a loan. They also have to ask the regulator before changing things or making new stuff, and they have to show where they get their money from.
Bottom Line of Google’s Decision on Loan apps
Google’s decisive action against illegal loan apps in Kenya and Nigeria underscores its commitment to ensuring the safety and security of users in these regions.
After cracking down on unlicensed apps and requiring compliance with regulations, Google is not only protecting consumers from potentially harmful financial practices but also promoting a more transparent and accountable digital lending environment.
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