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OPay, PalmPay, Kuda Excluded In FG’s Newly Approved Loan Apps (See Full List)

Has CBN Shutdown Opay, Kuda, Other Digital Banks?

By Ezeja Victor

OPay, PalmPay, Kuda excluded in FG’s aewly approved loan Apps to operate in Nigeria as new measure for digital lending raises hope of fair deal for Nigerians just As FG bars Illegal apps.

In its quest to promote fair, transparent and alternative lending opportunities, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) recently approved 173 digital lending applications to operate in Nigeria.

The loan apps serve as platforms where people can get access to quick loans with no collateral other than providing a bank verification number (BVN) and a request to allow pictures and a few other details of a potential user.

The agency in a statement recently said it gave full approval to 119 loan applications while 54 got conditional authorizations. It further stated that other ones not approved by the agency are illegal and remain barred from operating in the country.

However, Opay’s Okash, PalmPay and Kuda digital platforms were not found in the list of either fully approved or Conditionally approved lending apps to offer online loans to Nigerians.

FCCPC had in August 2022, announced the Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending, a regulation that required digital lenders willing to operate to apply for licences and register with the agency.

This measure is to control the digital lending market and ensure that companies are operating under a set of guidelines mutually fair to them and Nigerians who patronize their financial services.

“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 Lending, 2022 as the first and interim step to establishing a clear regulatory framework.

“This becomes enforceable immediately. It requires permission to proceed in digital lending; it provides a limited moratorium period for existing businesses to comply in order to continue in digital lending.

“The guidelines also mandate different service providers in the relevant ecosystem (such as banks, access/download platforms or stores, technology providers and payment systems) to require regulatory approval before providing services,” the statement from the Commission read.

According to the spokesperson for FCCPC, Ondaje Ijagwu, the Commission came up with the Interim Regulations/Registration framework for Digital Lending, to help register loan apps and to monitor their activities properly.

The regulatory measure was adopted as a result of reported cases of crude operations of illegal loan apps in their dealings with Nigerians who needed financial assistance.

Loan apps often lend funds to users without collateral in a bid to increase their users.

This often makes it difficult for them to retrieve the debt. Some say that a good number of people who borrow have no clear plan of repaying back; while others allege that some of the lending apps equally extort debtors through indiscriminate increase of interest rate to the chagrin of users.

A good number of the loan apps have records of violating data privacy laws in their quest to recover money disbursed to customers.

They resort to blackmailing debtors in an attempt recover their money. And when their debtors do not respond as expected, they further resort to calling and messaging the debtor’s contacts.

For instance, a school teacher in Enugu, Emmanuel Ugwuoru, borrowed money from L-Credit, and the company swooped on all contacts in Emmanuel’s phone was bombarding them with calls and messages (including this writer) about the debt, describing him in negative terms. Many other Nigerians have suffered such in the hands of digital lending agencies.

The loan apps were able to do this because they had access to users’ data, photos and contacts saved in their mobile devices which apps are installed.

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Consumer Protection Regulation forbids financial institutions from contacting a loan defaulter’s friends, employers, or family members without that person’s permission. However, the operators of the loan apps have repeatedly flouted this rule.

Google has also established a policy to remove illegal loan apps from the Play Store in Nigeria, effective January 31, 2023. The updated Google policy guidelines outline the requirements for lending apps in Nigeria, Kenya, India, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

The guidelines stipulated that all lending apps must obtain a licence from Google in order to function in the Play Store.

It also provides that loan apps in Nigeria must possess approval documents from the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) or risk withdrawal from the platform.

In the new synergy between FCCPC and Google, the global tech giant has indicated that digital loan apps will no longer be able to access users’ data such as photos, videos, contacts and other sensitive information or data.

It said that starting from May 2023, it will start demanding letters of approval signed by the FCCPC from the lending apps before they can be allowed to float their apps to appear on the playstore.

“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,” Google said in its statement.

Below are the names of approved loan apps legally permitted to operate in Nigeria:

Fully Approved

1. SYCAMORE INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS LIMITED
2. TRADE DEPOT
3. TAJOW INVESTMENT
4. BLUE RIDGE MICROFINANCE BANK LIMITED
5. GROLATECH CREDIT LIMITED
6. BRANCH INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LIMITED
7. P2VEST TECHNOLOGY LIMITED
8. CREDITWAVE FINANCE LIMITED
9. KEENEST TECH SERVICE LIMITED
10.FAIRMONEY MICRO FINANCE BANK
11. ALTRACRED FINANCE INVESTMENT LIMITED
12. CREVANCE CREDIT LIMITED
13. MENACRED COMPANY LIMITED
14. AFROWIDE DEVELOPMENT LTD
15. RED PLANET NIGERIA LIMITED
16. AFROFIRST MOBILE AND TECHNOLOGY COMPANY LIMITED
17. RANKCAPITAL LIMITED
18. IBS GOLDEN INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED
19. LENDVISERY SERVICES LIMITED
20. RENMONEY MICROFINANCE BANK LIMITED
21. SWIPEBILL TECHNOLOGIES NIGERIA LIMITED
22. HOMETOWN FINTECH LIMITED
23. GIASUN TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED
24. BE RESOURCES LIMITED
25. ROCKIT LENDERS NIGERIA LIMITED
26. PIVO TECHNOLOGY LIMIED
27. YES CREDIT COMPANY LIMITED
28. IRORUN TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
29. CSENSE LIMITED
30. SUPREME HELP COOPERATIVE SOCIETY LIMITED
31. ORCOM AND ORCOM BUSSINESS SUPORT LIMITED
32. PAYHIPPO LIMITED.
33. EASYCHECK FINANCE INVESTMENT LIMITED
34. FINANCIAL NIGERIA LIMITED
35. EDMOND SOLUTIONS COMPANY LIMITED
36. TED ROCKET LIMITED
37. PENAID LIMITED
38. ARVE LIMITED
39. DOVER CREDIT LIMITED
40. RAGEKAY GLOBAL INVESTMENT LIMITED
41. MAYWOOD LENDING LIMITED
42. LINKPARK TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED
43. MANGNET LENDING LIMITED
44. RUBYSTAR GLOBAL LIMITED
45. BESTFIN NIGERIA LIMITED
46. FUBRI CENTURY COMPANY LIMITED
47. BERLY SPRING GLOBAL LIMITED
48. ROCK FINANCIALS LIMITED
49. PHOENIX PAYMENT SOLUTION LIMITED
50. VALUE DRIVER TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION LIMITED
51. NEXTPAYDAY LIMITED
52. BLACKCOPPER SERVICE LIMITED
53. TRAFALGAR ASSOCIATE LIMITED
54. WINDVILLE FINANCIAL NIGERIA LIMITED
55. ORANGE LOAN & PURPLE CREDIT LIMITED
56. CARBON MICROFINANCE BANK LIMITED
57. NEO-LINK TECHNOLOGY COMPANY LIMITED
58. FINNEW FINTECH LIMITED
59. OTP INTERNET TECHNOLOGY LIMITED
60. RED HARBOR FINTECH LIMITED
61. PAYLATER HUB LIMITED
62. SKITLOAN NIGERIA LIMITED
63. RACEOVA NIG. LIMITED
64. NEW CREDAGE NIGERIA LIMITED
65. BETTERLENDING COMPANY LIMITED
66. FAST-POINT INTERGRATED LIMITED
67. APEX LENDING LIMITED
68. PISKA TECH NIGERIA LIMITED
69. PRINCEP CREDIT SYSTEM LIMITED
70. OMALEND SERVICE LIMITED
71. POCKFUL FINANCE LIMITED
72. HIGHCREDIT NIGERIA LIMITED
73. HOLLANDALE NIGERIA LIMITED
74. PAY FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY SERVICE LIMITED
75. A1 CAPITAL SOLUTION LIMITED
76. NEWEDGE FINANCE LIMITED
77. PAPICHOU TECHNOLOGY LIMITED
78. GOHARVEST INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
79. MINO SPARKS LIMITED
80. XGO FINANCE LIMITED
81. PRIMERA MICROFINANCE BANK
82.CREDIT TECH LENDING COMPANY
83. PROSPERITY ARCHIPELAGO LIMITED
84. FINESEST LIMITED
85. SINGULARITY TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LTD
86. ECON MART FINTECH LIMITED
87. PENNEE TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
88. OXYMON SOLUTION LIMITED
89. LANTANA TECHNOLOGY LIMITED
90. APPLINK CAPITAL NIGERIA LIMITED
91. YEGON TECH LIMITED
92. FEZOTECH NIGERIA LIMITED
93. ERIC VSTA LIMITED
94. MOBLASPAY COMPANY LIMITED
95. PAYCREDIT LIMITED
96. NIZ SERVICES LIMITED
97. MINO SPARKS LIMITED
98. FLO WOOD LENDING
99. LIBERTY ASSURED LIMITED
100. UNI TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LTD
101. TRADE LENDA COM LIMITED
102. CREDITVILLE MICROFINANCE BANK LTD
103. LETSHEGO MICROFINANCE BANK LTD
104. KIOWOPE CAPITAL LIMITED
105. VEENDHQ LIMITED
106. UCPLUS ADVANCE LIMITED
107. MAVEN FINANCE LIMITED
108. AELLA FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS LIMITED
109. FLUNA CAPITAL LIMITED
110. NEWEDGE FINANCE LIMITED
111. TA PRIME LIMITED
112. REGXTA GLOBAL SERVICE LTD
113. PROVEST LIMITED
114. JM RUBINUS LIMITED
115. CROSSROADS E-PAYMENT SYSTEMS LIMITED
116. CONSYNERGY LIMITED
117. FINTCRED INNOVATION LIMITED
118. AFROSAY FINTECH LIMITED
119. MIM FINANCE COMPANY
Conditional Approval
1. TRIPODBASE LIMITED
2. OWOAFARA FINTECH SERVICE
3. AJAX LENDING LIMITED
4. THE PLATFORM DIGITAL NETWORK LIMITED
5. ZIPPY CAPITAL LIMITED
6. LENDING EDGE LIMITED
7. LENDHA TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
8. DOJA LEMAIRE GLOBAL LIMITED
9. PAYDAYHUB ONLINE NIGERIA LIMITED
10. RETAIL BOOSTER LIMITED
11. CITADELE CAPITALS LIMITED
12. FEWCHORE FINANCE COMPANY LIMITED
13. ONE PAYOUT LIMITED
14 . LIDYA GLOBAL LIMITED
15. KWABA INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
16. FINPADI TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
17. UMBA DIGITAL SOLUTIONS LIMITED
18. FINTRADE SOLUTIONS LIMITED
19. U TECHNOLOGY
20. STELLAR FINANCE LIMITED
21.DASH INNOVATIONS
22. GRIT-TECH LIMITED
23. CAELUM TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
24. U THINKING NIGERIA LIMITED
25. EATON HILL INVESTMENT LIMITED
26. CREDITPRO BUSINESS SUPPORT SERVICES LTD
27. MUSKA TECH LIMITED
28. HELPPO AFRICA LIMITED
29. RENNERS INVESTMENT LIMITED
30. PEBBLE FINANCIAL TECH. LIMITED
31. KIAKIA BITS LIMITED
32. WEALTHBRIDGE CAPITAL PARTNERS LIMITED
33. TRIVISTA CAPITAL LIMITED
34. ATIMI LENDING LTD
35. ZUVY TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
36. ROCKSHIELD MICROFINANCE
37. DOT MICROFINANCE BANK LIMITED
38. ALLAWEE TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
39. LUCRED TECHNOLOGY LIMITED
40. NOLT FINANCE LIMITED
41. SOKO LENDING LIMITED
42. CITYGATE GLOBAL INVESTMENT LIMITED
43. OLIVERMEAD INVESTMENT LIMITED
44. LIGHTING FINANCE TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED
45. MENO FINANCE LIMITED
46. HOIL INVESTMENT LIMITED.
47. KIREDI ROCK COMPANY LTD
48. GLOSH TECH LIMITED
49. CLEMO FRESH CO. LTD
50. PASSECO TECHNOLOGY NIG. LTD
51. TRUST CEN LIMITED
52. RIVERBANK PARTNERS LIMITED
53. PRIME AVIS INVESTMENT SERVICES LIMITED
54. RIVERBRAND TECHNOLOGY LIMITED

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