173 applications for digital loans to operate in the nation have been accepted by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
54 of the 173 have provisional permissions, while 119 have full approvals. The FCCPC launched a registration effort to defend individuals from the abuses of these applications when loan apps began bothering Nigerians.
To govern the digital lending market and create registration and approval requirements for businesses wishing to operate there, it published a “Limited Interim Regulatory/ Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending 2022.”
After several changes to the registration closing date, it was finally set to March 27, 2023. A list of authorized apps that may be used throughout the nation has now been made public by the commission. Businesses that don’t have approvals won’t be able to operate in the space.
In August 2022, the FCCPC made the following statement regarding its campaign against digital lending apps: “In addition to the enforcement action(s), and in furtherance of the desire to promote fair, transparent, and mutually beneficial alternative lending opportunities apart from traditional lending to consumers, the inter-agency Joint Regulatory and Enforcement Task Force has developed and mutually adopted a Limited Interim Regulatory/ Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lendin.”
“This is enforced right now. It stipulates a brief moratorium time during which existing firms must comply in order to continue with digital lending; it requires approval to proceed with it.
Some of the approved loan apps listed by the commission include Branch International Financial Services Limited, Fairmoney Micro Finance Bank, Pivo Technology Limited, Renmoney Microfinance Bank Limited, Carbon Microfinance Bank Limited, Creditwave Finance Limited amongst others.
Loans without the FCCPC’s approval will be removed from Play Store by Google and unavailable for download.
In November, Google Play announced updates to its Developer Program Policy, which mandated that digital money lenders in Nigeria, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Kenya must conform to regulatory rules.
This was expected to come into force from January 31, 2023. In March, Google took down hundreds of unapproved loan apps from the Play Store in Kenya according to a report on TechCrunch.
In February 2023, the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau revealed that a national committee, made up of federal agencies, was working in tandem to clip the activities of illegal loan apps in the country.