106 digital lenders are now licensed to operate in Nigeria

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has authorised the operation of 106 digital lenders in Nigeria.

106 digital lenders are now licensed to operate in Nigeria
Babatunde Irukera, CEO of FCCPC

Following the introduction of the digital lending regulatory framework in August 2022, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has approved the operation of 106 digital lenders in Nigeria.

Out of the 106, 65 received full approval, while the other 41 were given conditional approval, according to a list released by FCCPC on Wednesday (Jan. 25, 2022). This decision was reached by the Inter-Agency on Joint Task Force on Digital Lending Apps following their investigations.

Recall FCCPC has continued to crack down on predatory loan apps to protect the right of consumers in Nigeria. Last August, the commission ordered Nigerian fintechs to stop providing payment or transaction services to digital money lenders under its investigation.

Earlier in March 2022, FCCPC closed down and froze the bank accounts of six other predatory loan operators—GoCash, Okash, EasyCredit, Kashkash, Speedy Choice and Easy Moni. The commission also ordered Apple and Google to take down these companies' apps from their platforms. "Google has been very supportive, including providing their expert knowledge and experience in advising about what works best in achieving laudable regulatory objectives," Babatunde Irukera, CEO of FCCPC, said in November 2022.

In the same month, Google announced that effective from January 2023 loan apps operating in Nigeria and Kenya will be required by Google to provide their operating licence in these countries or they will be removed from Google Playstore.

In March 2022, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) also released the Digital Credit Providers Regulations [pdf] to regulate the ongoing proliferation in the digital lending industry. According to CBK, only 10 digital credit providers are licensed to operate in Kenya, out of 288 providers in the country who have active apps on Google Playstore and other platforms.

List of approved digital lenders in Nigeria

The aforementioned predatory loan operators that the FCCPC has closed down previously did not make the list.

However, notable Nigerian fintech companies like Sycamore, Trade Depot, Fairmoney, Pivo Africa, Payhippo and Carbon are among the digital lenders that received full approval. Meanwhile, Umba, a Nigerian digital bank that raised $15 million in Series A last year received conditional approval.

In October 2022, Sycamore announced that it is the first digital lender in Nigeria to get the approval.

Find the list of the approved digital lenders in Nigeria, according to FCCPC below:

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