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Google directs digital loan apps to obtain CBK license before appearing on Play Store


The new regulations by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) requiring proper registration of all digital loan apps has gotten a boost after Google directed that all apps first acquire a CBK license before appearing on its Play Store open-source platform.

In the Policy Updates issued on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Google said that apps already existing on Play store have a grace period of 30 days to comply with the new directive.

“Digital Credit Providers (DCP) should complete the DCP registration process and obtain a license from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). You must provide a copy of your license from the CBK as part of your declaration.” Google said in a statement posted on its official page.

The changes come as CBK moves to sanitize an industry that has been operating and getting away with several regulatory loopholes. Before the regulations came into effect, cases of data mismanagement and harassment by digital lenders had raised concern among Kenyans, a situation that led CBK to order all unregulated digital lenders to cease operations

In October, the Office of Data Protection Commission (ODPC) commenced investigations on 40 digital lenders over allegations of abuse of personal data.

CBK is yet to update the list of all licensed operators in Kenya. The last communication to this effect was done in September when the industry regulator confirmed that only 10 applicants had successfully been registered as Digital Credit Providers (DCPs), while others were at various stages of registration.

The Policy Update by Google, therefore, comes at a time when the country is taking stringent measures to streamline operations in the industry.

The update also affects platforms that aren’t directly lending money but facilitate the issuance of credit by registered DCPs. Google says that such entities must explicitly fill in such information in the declaration form. Other countries affected by this development include  India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Nigeria.

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Simon W Nderitu

Simon is a tech enthusiast who keeps a close eye on emerging technologies, startups and the general business environment. You will often catch him totally immersed and drooling over Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, IoT and just about any other tech that promises to revolutionize the way we live. Send tips to snderitu@techtrendske.co.ke

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