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Loan Apps: A Look Into Google Play Store Disabling Defaulting Lenders

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In Nigeria, digital loan lenders (aka loan sharks) are becoming increasingly unpopular going by their crude approach to attracting interested borrowers as well as recouping loans. 

They go as far as gathering details like one’s BVN and cellphone number, etc., maintaining such consolidated features that enable them to acquire the contact details of those in your network.

Upon the slightest whimper of a borrower defaulting, they are able to reach everyone in your contact, embarrassing you by alerting them of your debt, thereby subjecting you to excruciating pressures.

From all indications, all that is about to change as Google rolls out some quality benchmarks that defaulters would be penalized for and this has already started in the East African country of Kenya.

Latest reports have it that Google has taken down hundreds of loan apps from the Play Store in Kenya, after its new policy, which requires digital lenders in the East African country to submit proof of license, took effect in January.

According to these reports reaching AllNews Nigeria, the policy followed the coming into force of Kenya’s Digital Credit Providers regulations last year, requiring entities providing loans digitally to acquire licenses from the country’s pinnacle bank, the Central Bank of Kenya.

It was not immediately clear how many loan apps had been blacklisted as Google was unavailable for comment.

However, a spot check by an online news agency showed that nearly 500 apps previously in the finance category on Play Store, including MoKash and Okash, had been taken down.

At the beginning of February, it was established that 657 apps were listed in the finance category which features loans, banking, and investing apps.

Today, only 198 apps are listed in the category.

By January, only 22 digital lenders, including Tala, a PayPal-backed loan app; Pezesha, a B2B embedded lending platform; and Jumo, a fintech provider providing financial services including lending, had been licensed out of the 381 that applied, according to the Central Bank of Kenya.

Google requires loan apps awaiting CBK’s approval, to submit a declaration form to obtain interim approval, which will be valid for 45 days, to be listed on Play Store.

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