Google has unveiled a stringent policy for personal loan apps in Pakistan. The new policy, which will be effective from May 31, 2023, is aimed at reducing financial risk and ensuring data privacy.
Under the new regulations, Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) lenders are permitted to publish only one Digital Lending App (DLA). Any attempt to publish more than one DLA will result in the termination of the developer’s account along with any associated accounts.
Before publishing their app, developers targeting Pakistani users must complete the Personal Loan App Declaration form and submit the necessary documentation. This includes proof of approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to offer or facilitate digital lending services in the country.
Google Play will also require additional information or documents to ensure loan app compliance with the relevant regulatory and licensing requirements. Any personal loan apps operating in Pakistan without proper declaration and license attribution will be removed from the Play Store. If the submitted license, registration, or declaration becomes invalid under applicable laws, developers are required to immediately remove the app from the Google Play Store.
The new policy also imposes restrictions on DLAs accessing sensitive data such as external storage, media images, contacts, and fine location. Furthermore, apps offering short-term personal loans that require full repayment within 60 days from the loan issue date are not permitted.
Farhan S. Qureshi, Google’s Director for Pakistan, expressed his belief that these new requirements will provide an extra layer of protection for users. He emphasized that this policy update is a significant step towards safeguarding consumers from harmful financial practices and ensuring data privacy.
Pakistan joins a select group of countries where Google has implemented additional requirements for DLAs. This move underscores Google’s commitment to consumer protection and data privacy in the digital lending space.