Online Banks Reply FG Over Restrictions To Customers’ Photos, Contacts

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A Co-founder of Carbon, a fintech firm, Ngozi Dozie, has expressed concerns about Google’s new policy, which restricts loan apps’ access to customers’ contacts and photos.

He noted that the policy has good intentions, Dozie believes that it could stifle innovation and limit the efforts of fintech firms in driving financial inclusion.

He argues that there is a distinction between lending apps and digital banking apps, which is disingenuous since all banking apps, including Carbon, are by default lending apps.

Dozie acknowledges that some loan apps have misused customers’ personal data, prompting Google’s policy. He commends Google for proactively responding to the issue and reducing invasion of privacy. However, he expresses concern that the policy lacks nuance and could harm smaller, innovative companies like Carbon.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government has announced that it will enforce the policy, citing its alignment with efforts to curb customers’ privacy violations by loan apps and other digital lenders.

Recalle that Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) released a list of 173 registered loan apps out of over 200 operating in Nigeria, in a bid to regulate the industry.

The government’s move is part of a wider effort to promote financial inclusion while protecting consumers’ rights.

However, Dozie argues that the policy creates an uneven playing field between fintech startups and big banks, who have greater resources to comply with the policy. 
Above all, Google’s policy  is aimed to protect consumers’ privacy, its implementation may have unintended consequences for smaller, innovative fintech companies. It remains to be seen how the policy will impact the industry in Nigeria and beyond.

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Francis Adegoke is an astute Publisher, Professional Journalist, PR Expert, Experienced E-commerce, Digital Media and Marketing Strategist.

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