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Google set to ban Unlicensed Mobile Loan Apps on Play Store in new Developer Program Policy

CM Advocates > Commercial/ Business Law  > Google set to ban Unlicensed Mobile Loan Apps on Play Store in new Developer Program Policy

Google set to ban Unlicensed Mobile Loan Apps on Play Store in new Developer Program Policy

Google set to ban unlicensed mobile loan apps on play store in new developer program policy

In November 2022, Google, the US tech giant and renown search engine released its latest Google Play Developer Program Policy mandating digital lenders in Kenya to comply with the registration and licensing requirements by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) with the tech giant, Google, in order to remain placed under Google Play.

Google Play, also known as the Google Play Store, is a digital distribution service operated and developed by Google which hosts myriad online apps, games, and digital content and allows web and android users to access these applications for use.

On December 15, 2022, the tech giant declined to host mobile loan applications without CBK permits on its Play Store rendering millions of short-term borrowers unable to download or get an update on personal loan apps from lenders who are yet to get licenses.

In the Developer Program, Google issued new policies that will force mobile loan lenders to disclose the requirements from the banking regulator within a month in order ‘to remain or publish new personal loan apps on Play Store.

The new policies state that:

  • Lenders should complete the Personal Loan App Declaration for Kenya, and provide the necessary documentation to support their declaration.
  • Digital Credit Providers (DCP) should complete the DCP registration process and obtain a license from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). DCPs must provide a copy of their license from the CBK as part of the declaration.
  • If one is not directly engaged in money lending activities and are only providing a platform to facilitate money lending by registered DCP(s) to users, they will need to accurately reflect this in the declaration and provide a copy of the DCP license of their respective partner(s).
  • Currently, Google only accepts declarations and licenses from entities published under the Directory of Digital Credit Providers on the official website of the CBK.

In the new directive, Google has given all new and existing apps a grace period of at least 30 days from November 16 to comply with the changes, with the policy being fully effective on January 31, 2023.

Under the Central Bank of Kenya (Digital Credit Providers) Regulations, 2021, digital credit providers, in the business of providing credit facilities or loan services through a digital channel such as the internet, mobile devices, computer devices, applications and any other digital systems as maybe prescribed by the CBK, were obligated to:

  1. Register with the Central Bank for a license to undertake operations.
  2. Set up a Credit Policy which must provide for the following:
  3. Sets borrower limits
  4. Discloses charges and fees and the circumstances under which credit may be imposed
  • Discloses interest rate to be charged
  1. Discloses the date on which the amount of credit and all interest, charges or fees are due and payable; and
  2. Provides customer complaint handling procedures.

The licensing and new policy is expected to reduce mushrooming of rogue digital apps in the market.

Read more in our previous article relating to registration and licensing of DCPs available here.

Should you require any clarification and legal support, reach out to us through our email law@cmadvocates.com or call us on +254 716 209 673

Contact Persons & Contributors

Victorine Rotich–Senior Associate and Head of Business Unit

Beverly Tracy- Associate


This alert is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.

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