The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has requested Google to immediately delete Swiftcash, Easynaira, and 16 other loan apps from its Play Store.
The Commission in a statement by its Chief Executive Officer, Babatunde Irukera, said it discovered that the apps have been operating on the Google Play Store without regulatory approval or in violation of the Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending.
The statement listed the other apps to be removed as Getloan, Joy Cash – Loan, Camelloan, Cashlawn, Nairaloan, Eaglecash, Moneytreefinance Made Easy, Luckyloan and Cashme.
Others to be affected Crediting, Swiftkash, Hen Credit loan, Nut loan, Cash door, Cashpal, and Nairaeasy gist loan.
Irukera said the Commission would continue to engage with 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 Play Store. 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 Play store.
“This appears to be a device by some of these DMLs to evade or avoid regulatory compliance,” he said.
Irukera added 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. According to him, failure to comply with the Guidelines is a violation of law and renders any such operation illegal.
Irukera also disclosed that all approved digital lenders will now have to revalidate their registration by resubmitting their information to the Commission.
Earlier this week, the Commission deleted the list of the over 180 registered DMLs from its website, saying the list was undergoing clean-up.