FCCPC will address loan applications method of obtaining customer contact list

THE Executive Vice President/Director General of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Babatunde Irukera has pledged to address how lending apps obtain and download customers’ phone contact list .

Irukera who spoke in a Twitter space organized by CIRI on how fintechs are shaming and threatening customers for loan repayments, pointed out that the process was illegal.

He said: “One of the main issues we are addressing is the application process which allows apps to upload contacts. The phone number is your own proprietary information.

“This is one of the issues that needs to be addressed. There is harassment, coercion and threats in violation of the FCCPC law. The law prohibits the use of physical force or unfair tactics in the conduct of loan recovery.

Also speaking at the event, Gabs Financial Services Chief Compliance Officer Oyelowo Ayodeji said his organization screens customers before granting them loans.

“Loan disbursement is not the end of the game. It is the easiest because you can easily set up an app to disburse loans. The end game is loan recovery. What is important is your business model for loan recovery. We don’t give loans to everyone and we do our own investigation before giving loans to people. We have a specific target market to grant the loan.

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Going further, Ayodeji said his organization does checks to make sure the customer can pay back what they get.

He also added that the company signs a contract with the client and the client’s employer to ensure that the loans are collected.

Last month, digital rights experts criticized the Nigerian federal government for allegedly failing to protect Nigerians from the activities of loan sharks.

A researcher and co-founder of Tech Hive Advisory, Ridwan Oloyede, said the digital lending space had become “a complete mess” as loan sharks managed to blackmail people from low-income households.

A program manager at Global Rights, Moyosoreoluwa Oluwasegun, said the nation had failed to pull itself together “and that’s why these loan apps continue to operate with impunity”.

Oluwasegun said, “The government has announced its decision to remove some of the apps from the Play Store, but what we find is that there are loan apps that the government is not aware of. What we have now is that some of these loan apps are contacting you via Whatsapp due to accessing people’s information, urging you to download the apps and borrow money.

He noted that companies were targeting people at the bottom of the pyramid, whom he described as not having enough to live on.

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A ICIR report revealed that this act of public shame clearly violates Article 2.2 of the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), which prohibits unlawful sharing of data with third parties without legal basis.

In the report, CIRI Reviewed the terms of use for some lending apps hosted on the Google Play Store. These included NairaPlus, EasyCredit, TrueNaira, GoCash, CashLion, FairMoney and LCredit.

They all failed to disclose to users downloading the apps that their access rights to users’ contact lists would be shared with third parties in the event of a failure. This was not in line with Google Play Store policies.

here is link to the twitter space.

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