The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has delisted certain otherwise approved and registered Digital Money Lending companies and their Applications (apps). By that action, the affected DMLs ceased to operate legally.
In addition, the Commission entered an order to Google LLC (Google) to remove same from the Playstore, and prohibited payment gateways or services from providing or continuing services to the affected businesses.
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).
A statement signed by the Executive Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive Office of FCCPC Mr Babatunde Irukera notes that the Commission has entered a further order requiring Google to immediately remove, withdraw or drawdown the following apps:, 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, Nairaeasy gist loan
It states that 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 and notes that compliance with the Guidelines is mandatory for all DMLs regardless of whether they intend to be placed on Playstore, operate by APK file formats or any other means for that matter.
It further states that failure to comply with the Guidelines is a violation of law, and renders any such operation illegal. DMLs operating by any means or on any platforms whatsoever are hereby required to provide evidence of compliance with the Guidelines within five (5) days from the date of this Release.
All existing and approved DMLs providing digital lending services through APK file formats in addition to Playstore, are required to provide evidence that such APK operations are in compliance with the law. All previously approved DMLs or otherwise must revalidate the information provided to the Commission by filling DL Form 001 and resubmit same to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DMLs are reminded that infraction or infringements may lead to permanent delisting and prohibition, as well as law enforcement action, including prosecution.
The Commission reiterates its commitment to ensure legal and ethical operations in digital lending; and encourages consumers to consider/patronize only approved DMLs.
(list available at www.fccpc.gov.ng). Feedback and complaint may be forwarded to email@example.com.