As a result of its new policy, which requires digital lenders in the East African country to submit proof of licensure Google has removed hundreds of loan apps from the Play Store in Kenya.
As a result of Play Store in Kenya Digital Credit Providers (DCP) regulations, last year entities that provide loans electronically must obtain a license from the Central Bank of Kenya to operate.
Google did not immediately respond with a statement.
Storyline World today found, that nearly 500 apps had been pulled from the Play Store’s Finance category including MoKash and Okash. How many loan applications had been blocked wasn’t immediately apparent.
In early February, Storyline World counted 657 apps in the financial category, including lending, banking, and investing apps.
Of 381 digital lenders who applied, only 22 had been granted licenses by January, according to the Central Bank of Kenya. They included Jumo a provider of financial services, Pezesha; a B2B embedded lending platform, and Tala, a loan provider backed by PayPal.
For interim approval, which is good for 45 days, Google demands that lending apps awaiting a license submit a declaration form attesting to the fact that approval is pending.
Many of these credit apps used to provide rapid unsecured personal or company loans they would charge outrageous interest rates and employ debt collection practices before the DCP restrictions were into effect. Taking advantage of the lack of rules and the lax vetting procedure of the Play Store these companies steal customers’ money and share customer information with Third parties.
The regulations also mandate that clients be informed of the conditions and costs of loans prior to approval and distribution.