Learn how FCCPC asked Google to take away 18 loan apps from its PlayStore to keep users safe.
This simple story is all about keeping the digital world fair!
Imagine you’re walking down the street when a stranger suddenly takes your hand and starts going through your pockets.
You’d be upset, right? That’s what it can feel like when an app invades your privacy.
This is a story about 18 loan apps that went too far, and the agency that stepped in to stop them.
FCCPC Steps Up to Protect Consumers
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, or FCCPC, is a group of people who work hard to make sure businesses play fair with customers.
It’s like a superhero for consumers! The FCCPC recently told Google, the company behind the PlayStore, to remove 18 loan apps because these apps were not playing fair.
The person who leads FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, shared this news on a Wednesday.
Before this, on July 20, 2023, the FCCPC had already asked Google to remove some money lending apps because they were peeking into customers’ private lives while trying to get their money back.
The New Entries on the Prohibited List
But that’s not the end of the story. The FCCPC found 18 more companies that were not following the rules and added them to the no-no list.
Babatunde Irukera said, “In addition, the FCCPC has asked Google to remove the same from its PlayStore and has told payment services to stop helping the affected businesses.”
The FCCPC keeps checking and testing the apps on Google PlayStore. They found that these apps were either not approved by the FCCPC or were breaking the rules set in the Guidelines for Digital Lending, 2022.
FCCPC’s Order to Google
Now, the FCCPC has asked Google to quickly remove the following apps: Getloan, Joy Cash-Loan Up to 1,000,000, Camelloan, Cashlawn, Nairaloan, and Eaglecash.
The other apps that are in trouble are Moneytreefinance Made Easy, Luckyloan Personal Loan, Cashme, Easynaira, Swiftcash, Crediting, Swiftkash, Hen Credit loan, Nut loan, Cash door, Cashpal, and Nairaeasy gist loan.
FCCPC’s Plan Going Forward
Babatunde Irukera shared that FCCPC will keep talking to Google. They want to understand how and why apps that don’t follow the rules end up on Google’s Play store.
According to the Guidelines, only those DMLs that follow the rules and have FCCPC’s written approval can be on the Playstore.
It seems that some DMLs have started to use Android Package Kits, or APKs, to reach customers without going through the Playstore. This might be their way to avoid following the rules.
A Warning for DMLs
Babatunde Irukera reminded that all DMLs must follow the Guidelines, no matter how they reach customers. If they don’t, they are breaking the law and could be punished.
He said, “DMLs operating in any way must show proof that they follow the Guidelines within five (5) days from the date of this news release.”
He also said, “All existing and approved DMLs using APKs must show proof that they are following the law. Also, all previously approved DMLs must fill DL Form 001 and send it back to the FCCPC.”
DMLs were reminded that if they don’t follow the rules, they might be removed forever, and they could even face legal actions.