Google’s Play Store policy for digital lenders has touched down in Nigeria as the search giant releases a new policy that restrains loan apps from demanding sensitive information from its users. The policy will be effective from May 31 whereby Nigerian digital lenders will no longer be reprieved for accessing users’ contacts and photos.
This update does not excuse borrowers from facing the penalty for exceeding the agreed payback timeline for debts. The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) lead the Nigerian digital regulatory agencies to aid the new policy Google has introduced to moderate how users’ privacy is observed.
The head of the FCCPC office, Babatunde Irukera is keen on regulating the inland FinTech landscape and Google’s commitment has impacted both parties to join forces in banning digital lenders from collecting users’ sensitive data for the sake of retrieving debts.
However, the newly introduced policy is a modification of the prior mandate that Google imposed on Nigerian loan apps to show proof of license granted by the inland regulatory system to portray FinTech credibility. Recall the similar Techbooky Africa publication that covered the prior Google policy that mandated Kenya digital lenders to operate on its Play Store landscape with proof of license.
Irukera organized a task force of independent agencies commissioned to regulate the inland FinTech ecosystem including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“We’re updating our Personal Loans policy to state that apps aiming to provide or facilitate personal loans may not access user contacts or photos. (i.e., lead generators or facilitators), are prohibited from accessing sensitive data, such as photos and contacts,” Google said.
The compliance of the Nigerian regulatory system and the search giant is keen on mandating the newly introduced policy based on the fact that digital lenders have reportedly coerced their customers into returning borrowed funds. Users’ privacy will no longer be evaded by contacting third parties related to the borrower without the consent of the borrower.
Google’s new policy also mandates loan apps to be transparent with their services whereby disclosing “loan interest rate, fees, repayment schedule, risks, and benefits of loan products in order to make informed decisions about whether to undertake the loan.”