After failure to which they risk removal from Play Store. Google is requiring loan apps in Kenya to submit proof of license to operate in the country, Those that have applied for licensing by the Central Bank of Kenya, and can produce evidence of the same, may also be spared.
This action has been sluggish, it coming two months after the Digital Credit Providers Regulations took effect to protect borrowers from rogue apps, many of which had predatory lending practices.
Now expected the requisite documents and information of old loan apps in Kenya to submit, or risk being locked out at the end of January next year.
These actions are following similar in India, Indonesia, and Philippines.
Personal loan apps operating in Kenya without proper declaration and license attribution will be removed from the Play Store,” said Google. it also stated that “Developers with personal loan apps targeting Kenyan users must complete [a] declaration form and submit the necessary documentation before publishing their personal loan app.
A policy update also requires apps in Nigeria to get a “verifiable approval letter” from the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).
Kenya and Nigeria are major tech hubs in Africa, and the lack of stringent regulations has attracted rogue operators necessitating authorities to take apt measures to protect citizens. we have witnessed the proliferation of loan apps, offering quick unsecured personal loans of up to $500. only 10 of the 288 loan apps that applied for licenses from the country’s Central Bank have been permitted. Some of the popular ones, like Zenka and silicon-valley backed Tala, are yet to be licensed.
While less stringent than Kenya’s new law, the FCCPC rules, which came into effect in August this year to protect borrowers, we expect lending apps to declare their fees and demonstrate how they receive feedback and solve complaints, among other requirements.
in Kenya, digital lenders use threats or debt-shaming actions, including posting personal information on online forums, unauthorized calls and messages to customers, and access to their contacts lists for purposes of contacting them in case of default.
The new law requires loan apps to also reveal their pricing model, terms, and conditions to consumers in advance, unlike in the past when they were unsupervised.
The apps are also expected to notify the regulator before introducing new products or making changes to existing ones, in addition to disclosing and providing evidence of their sources of funds.