- The policy prohibits such apps from being listed, imposing stricter requirements.
- Call agents are required to use registered numbers, recorded lines.
- SECP mandates cooling period, prohibits access to personal data.
Islamabad: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has said that it is actively engaged with Google to counter the spread of illegal lending apps. news Reported on Thursday.
The search engine has already removed 84 illegal lending apps from its Play Store and introduced a personal loan app policy for Pakistan, effective May 31, 2023.
Pakistan is the sixth country in the world after India, Indonesia, Philippines, Nigeria and Kenya where Google has introduced additional requirements for digital lending apps.
The SECP on Wednesday announced its commitment to continuously review and improve policies to promote the development of capital and financial markets.
It promotes ease of doing business through technology, enhances financial inclusion, lowers entry barriers and transparently enforces laws to protect people’s rights.
The policy includes measures to prevent listing of such apps and imposes stricter requirements regarding access to personal data of consumers.
Notably, in December 2022, the SECP mandated borrower protection requirements for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) offering digital loans.
These requirements include transparent disclosure of fees and loan terms to customers prior to disbursement.
The SECP restricts access to personal data, imposes a mandatory 24-hour cooling-off period for loans, and limits NBFCs offering digital lending to one app.
Call agents are required to use registered numbers and recorded lines.
However, lenders and agents must adhere to ethical and legal standards that prevent unfair practices and harassment.
SECP maintains a strong enforcement system to ensure compliance. The commission follows a two-tier process for digital lending companies.
The first level involves obtaining an NBFC license, which includes conducting due diligence, evaluating sponsors and directors, and appointing an independent director.
The second level includes app approval based on the CSAF Auditors Certificate, which ensures the security of data and apps by assessing disclosure requirements.