After Quick Loan Arena story, Google bans Sokoloan from Play Store

After Quick Loan Arena story, Google bans Sokoloan from Play Store

The internet giant, Google has finally banned the rogue loan app, Sokoloan from its Play Store following series of news reports by QUICK LOAN ARENA accusing the platform of unethical practices of threatening, blackmailing and maligning its customers over alleged loan defaults.

Sokoloan which is owned and managed by Soko Lending Company Ltd in Nigeria has also been accused of breach of data privacy of its customers and their contacts list.

In August 2021, Sokoloan was sanctioned N10m fine for spying and invading its customers’ data privacy, and God sending threat messages to the customers and their contact lists who were never parties to any loan agreement.

In the landmark enforcement, Nigerian regulatory agency, NITDA, the National Information Technology Development Agency imposed a fine of N10 million on the digital lending platform for spying, invading and compromising the data privacy of its customers.

On Monday, QUICK LOAN ARENA started a series of investigative reports where we blacklisted some loan apps in Nigeria over breach of data privacy of their customers and their contact lists.

The aim of the report is to compile a list of all quick loan apps on Google Play Store that are invading the data privacy of their customers and sending blackmailing and threatening messages to their contacts whenever there is an alleged loan repayment default.

We understand this is in breach of their customers’ data privacy policy which the different loan apps vowed to adhere to during registration and hosting on Google Play Store. This is also required by local laws for any loan app or lending company operating in Nigeria.

In our list of blacklisted loan apps in Nigeria, 9ja Cash which we understand is owned and managed by Soko Lending Company Ltd, gained the fourth entry. We advised all Nigerian loan seekers to boycott the services of 9ja Cash loan app and avoid them like a plague.

Mr David Fadiya, a leading Security Consultant in Lagos said the following of Sokoloan: “Sokoloan is the parent company of GoCash loan app, (which is another app that sends threatening messages to its customers). Sokoloan don’t give second chance, they’re the worst loan house I have ever heard of. The bottom line is they threaten their staffs to sack them, sometimes they don’t pay they their salaries, that’s what one of their staff who is close to a friend told him. Most of these loan apps are owned by Chinese who dont care.”

QUICK LOAN ARENA findings reveal that Soko Lending Company Ltd, owners of the now banned and blacklisted Sokoloan, unknown to many, also owns GoCash, FastMoney, KashKash, AddMoney, GetCash and many other loans that are defaming Nigerians daily.

“It’s when you want to make payment that you realize it’s Sokoloan you are paying to. And they threaten customers and their contact lists with blackmailing messages even for a day’s default,” one of their customers who pleaded anonymity told QUICK LOAN ARENA.

When this medium exclusively broke the news of Sokoloan ban from Google Play yesterday, many Nigerians who spoke with QUICK LOAN ARENA expressed satisfaction and delight at the development. Some say it’s “good riddance to bad rubbish” and others say they want the lending platform prosecuted over its breach of its customers privacy. Some others told QUICK LOAN ARENA that the Federal government and regulatory authorities should wade into the micro-lending industry in Nigeria and instill sanity and enforce discipline.

Following QUICK LOAN ARENA Story last week, several regulatory and financial crime authorities such as EFCC, CBN, FCCPC and others vowed to crack down on loan apps and lending platforms that are in breach of their customers’ data privacy and also fond of sending defaming and threatening messages to them and their contacts.

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the report assured that it had commenced rights violation investigation into the money lending industry.

The enforcement and regulatory agencies expressed concern that the act was fast becoming a dominant and abusive practice targeting some of the most vulnerable in society.

“Continuing complaints about questionable repayment enforcement practices including public shaming and violations of privacy have led to significant and understandable consumer aggravation and dissatisfaction.

“Others are arbitrary, unjust, unreasonable, or exploitative interest rates and or loan balances calculations, harassment and failure of consumer feedback mechanisms, among others have caused consumer aggravation, the agencies have said in a joint statement on Monday,” the report said.

We hope these new measures by the regulatory authorities will start to instil some level of decorum and sanity into the micro-lending and quick loan industry in Nigeria. We also look forward to more enforcement by Google for loan apps hosted on its Play Store for maximum compliance with its policies.

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