Google takes some Kenyan loan apps off Play Store

Logos of US tech giant Google. [File, AFP]

US tech giant Google has taken some loan apps off Google Play Store for failure to comply with the company’s policy requiring them to submit proof of license to operate in Kenya.

Some of the loan apps were unavailable to users using Android and IOS devices.

The move by Google comes after it said lenders needed to satisfy its list of requirements after updating its policy in November 2022.

“Digital Credit Providers (DCP) should complete the DCP registration process and obtain a license from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). You must provide a copy of your license from the CBK as part of your declaration,” Google said.

The tech giant also said that it would only accept declarations and licenses from entities published under the DCP directory on CBKs official website.

The CBK, in a statement on January 30, 2023, said that it received 381 applications since March 2022 by digital lenders for licensing.

Only 22 lenders were licensed, with CBK saying that they were the only ones that complied with all the requirements from others regulators and agencies, including the Data Protection Commissioner.

The lenders were required to satisfy CBK on their business models, consumer protection and fitness and propriety of proposed shareholders, directors, and management.

The apps have been offering quick and unsecured loans, and have been accused of charging high-interest rates compared to other lenders.

The lenders have also been accused of breaching data privacy when collecting debts by contacting third parties in the contact lists of the borrowers when they fail to repay their loans.

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