The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has ordered Google Limited Liability Company (LLC) to remove the applications (apps) of additional 18 Digital Money Lenders (DMLs) that have not received relevant regulatory approvals, from its Playstore.
Some DMLs, popularly called loan sharks in Nigeria, have gained some notoriety due to their operational model which bordered on sharp practices, customer intimidation and unconventional loan recovery method.
The DMLs are Getloan, Joy Cash-Loan Up to 1,000,000, Camelloan, Cashlawn, Nairaloan, Eaglecash, Moneytreefinance Made Easy, Luckyloan Personal Loan, Cashme, Easynaira, Swiftcash, Crediting, Swiftkash, Hen Credit loan, Nut loan, Cash door, Cashpal and Nairaeasy gist loan.
The competition regulatory body disclosed this in a statement signed by its Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, which noted that the apps were not among those delisted on July 20th, 2023.
According to the statement, “The Commission, as part of its continuing investigation and audit, has identified additional apps operating on the Google Playstore without regulatory approval or in violation of the Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending, 2022 (Guidelines).
“Accordingly, the Commission has entered a further order requiring Google to immediately remove, withdraw or drawdown the following apps.
“The Commission will continue engaging Google to clarify how and why apps that have not received relevant regulatory approvals are available on Google’s platform (Play store).
“Under the Guidelines, only DMLs that have been subjected to regulatory scrutiny and compliance evidenced by written approval from the Commission are allowed on Playstore.
“The Commission notes that some DMLs have resorted to the use of Android Package Kits (APK) file formats to reach consumers outside of the Google Playstore.
“This appears to be a device by some of these DMLs to evade or avoid regulatory compliance.