Source:Timi Odueso/Techcabal

As Nigerian and Kenyan governments tighten their grasp around digital loan apps and their predatory practices, Google itself is looking into the matter.

Last week, the company announced plans to restrict loan apps on its Play Store from accessing sensitive user data such as photos, videos, and contacts. The update, which was pushed to the Personal Loans Policy yesterday, will take effect from May 31.

“Apps that provide personal loans, or have the primary purpose of facilitating access to personal loans (i.e., lead generators or facilitators), are prohibited from accessing sensitive data, such as photos and contacts,” the company said in its update.

In Africa—especially Nigeria and Kenya—these (mostly unregulated) lenders, adopt debt-shaming and unethical data-sharing practices to torture their customers into repayment. 

The proliferation of bad actors in these countries gave way to the strict regulatory oversight that followed. Now, Kenya’s central bank and Nigeria’s Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) are gradually overhauling the industry, one licence at a time.

Both countries enforced strict regulation and licensing policies that have led to the removal of hundreds of loan apps from Play Store. So far, Nigeria has managed to register 173 loan apps since its 2022 licensing change, while Kenya has only approved 32.

Source:Timi Odueso/Techcabal