In a decisive move against illicit financial activities, Google has removed and barred 200 illegal Ghanaian loan apps from its Play Store, a collaborative effort with the Bank of Ghana to safeguard consumers.
Despite challenges faced throughout the year, the Bank of Ghana remains resolute in its commitment to financial inclusion, recognizing its potential for widespread economic growth and poverty alleviation.
Governor Ernest Addison, addressing the Chartered Institute of Bankers’ Governor’s Day, underscored the central bank’s dedication to creating an enabling regulatory environment. Currently, 52 non-bank payment service providers offer diverse payment solutions, aligning with consumer expectations.
To propel fintech activities, the Bank of Ghana engaged key market players in inward remittance termination services, fostering a level playing field for all participants. The central bank’s Regulatory Sandbox, launched to support innovation in new digital business models, addresses challenges not explicitly covered by existing regulations, contributing to ongoing financial inclusion efforts.
Dr. Addison revealed ongoing surveillance and investigations into over 200 illegal loan apps providing unauthorized lending products to Ghanaian consumers. Public notices issued in August 2022 and July 2023 warned financial institutions to exclusively engage with Bank of Ghana-approved digital credit products.
Acting swiftly, the Bank of Ghana collaborated with Google’s Regulatory and Policy unit, resulting in the removal and barring of the identified illegal loan apps from the Google Play Store. Subsequently, Google revised its Personal Loan Policy to restrict these apps from accessing device information, including SMS and contacts.
Furthermore, the central bank, in collaboration with the Economic Organized Crime Office (EOCO), Cyber Security Authority (CSA) Ghana, and the Ghana Police Service, executed a joint operation leading to the arrest of 420 individuals, including three foreigners, in July 2023.
This coordinated effort aims to curb illegal lending operations and reinforce financial security measures.