The Nigerian government has announced that loan apps on the Play Store will no longer access users’ contacts or photos from May 31st, 2023. This came as the federal government said it would enforce the latest policy by Google, saying the action was consistent with the Nigerian authorities’ move to curtail the invasion of customers’ privacy by loan app firms.
The government had in recent time taken major decisions aimed at tackling the violation of customers’ privacy by loan apps. Notably, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission which recently registered 170 loan apps out of the 200 operating in the country.
Google, in its April 2023 policy updates, said the new policy update would provide respite for loan app users in Nigeria and other places that have become accustomed to crude loan retrieval methods employed by a majority of loan apps.
According to the firm, only digital money lenders that have adhered to and completed 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 and obtain a verifiable approval letter from the FCCPC will be allowed on Play Store in Nigeria.
Commenting on the new policy, the Chief Executive Officer of the FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, stated that it was a welcome development and shows that Google was institutionalising its regulatory policy.
He said, “It is a welcome development effort and is consistent with the position the FCCPC has taken and what we are enforcing.
The FCCPC stated that it has approved 173 digital lending applications to operate in the country. 119 of these got full approvals while 54 got conditional approvals.
This move has become necessary after loan apps started harassing Nigerians by sending defaming messages to their contacts, and more.
Story: Christy Dung