SECP Publishes Whitelist of Digital Lending Apps
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has established a whitelist of digital lending apps in response to Google’s new policy for digital lending apps from Pakistan.
With effect from May 31, 2023, the whitelist will act as a reference point for Google to authenticate the regulator’s authorized applications before displaying them on the Play Store. The list will be updated when applications are granted or refused by SECP.
The whitelist includes the names of authorized applications owned by licensed Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), as well as apps owned by licensed NBFCs that were operational as of December 27, 2022, and had requested approval. Cyber security certification from a PTA-approved business, verifying that the apps do not access the personal data of customers.
What apps are on the whitelist?
According to the list, Gold Lion Financial Private Limited’s SmartQarza is the only authorized app of a certified lending NBFC. Moreover, Mirco Cred Financial Services Ltd’s UdharPaisa, Humraah Financial Services Limited’s Zaroorat Cash, and Seedcred Financial Services Limited’s Barwaqt are among the licensed lending NBFC applications under consideration.
Circular 15 requires compliance with digital lending requirements, which include, the installation of suitable cybersecurity measures and controls to maintain confidentiality, integrity, and the prohibition on accessing borrowers’ phone books or photo galleries.
The SECP stated in its statement that it encourages all NBFCs participating in digital lending operations to comply with the amended standards specified in Circular 15 as soon as possible and submit the required documents for app approval to avoid any difficulty.
SECP has also encouraged potential borrowers to check the app status on SECP’s whitelist before using any digital lending app.