Nigerian Govt, Google Restrict Digital Loan Apps from Accessing Contacts, Photos of Customers

To protect customers from unscrupulous lending practices, the federal government and Google have put greater limits on digital loan apps available on the Play Store platform.

Only a few days ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria granted permission for 117 digital lending apps to provide services to Nigerians.

The new rule, which takes effect on May 31, is applicable to all nations.

Google will restrict apps from accessing private user information like call records, photographs, videos, contacts, and precise location data.

In a statement released Google explained that the new policy was aimed at addressing issues of misuse of personal data by some loan apps

It reads: “Apps that provide personal loans, or have the primary purpose of facilitating access to personal loans (i.e., lead generators or facilitators), are prohibited from accessing sensitive data, such as photos and contacts

“This policy applies to apps which offer loans directly, lead generators, and those who connect consumers with third-party lenders”

Specific Google instructions for Nigeria digital loan apps

Google also set specific instructions for loan apps operating in Nigeria asking all in its Play Store to ensure they meet regulatory requirements.

The message reads: “To operate as a Personal Loan App in Nigeria, it is mandatory for Digital Money Lenders (DML) to comply with the limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending, 2022 (as may be amended from time to time) set by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) of Nigeria.

“DMLs must also furnish verifiable approval letters obtained from the FCCPC.

“Loan Aggregators, on the other hand, are required to provide certification and documentation for their digital lending services, as well as contact information for every partnered DML.

“Additionally, upon request by Google Play, you must submit any supplementary information or documents to demonstrate your compliance with the regulatory and licensing requirements that are applicable to your operations.”