Google has pulled hundreds of loan apps from the Play Store in Kenya due to new policies requiring proof of licensing, according to a report from TechCrunch.
The Digital Credit Providers (DCP) regulations in Kenya last year stipulated that digital lenders must obtain a license from the Central Bank of Kenya to operate.
Google's new policy took effect in January, and the company has since removed hundreds of loan apps, including MoKash and Okash, from the Finance category on the Play Store.
While it is unclear how many loan apps were blacklisted, TechCrunch previously counted 657 finance apps in early February, and today only 198 are listed in the category.
Out of 381 digital lenders that applied for licenses, only 22 were approved by January, according to the Central Bank of Kenya. These included Tala, a PayPal-backed loan provider, Pezesha, a B2B embedded lending platform, and Jumo, which provides financial services, including lending.
Google has required loan apps awaiting licenses to submit a declaration form confirming pending approval to be listed on the Play Store, with interim approval valid for 45 days.
The new regulations aim to eliminate rogue players in the digital lending sector, ensuring that loan apps observe consumer privacy and data protection rights, anti-money laundering laws, and disclose loan terms and pricing to customers before approval and disbursement.