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The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has rolled out a Self-Assessment Declaration Form aiming to streamline and expedite the enrollment process for Non-banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) offering digital lending apps. This initiative, detailed in Circular 14 of 2024, outlines the essential information required from digital lending NBFCs for listing their apps on SECP’s Whitelist.

By providing a comprehensive self-assessment declaration, the SECP aims to facilitate a smoother and more efficient entry process, ultimately fostering innovation and expansion within the digital lending sector. Under this regulatory framework, licensed NBFCs must establish robust cybersecurity measures and controls to uphold confidentiality, integrity, and thwart unauthorized access to borrowers’ personal data, including phone books and photo galleries.

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Apps meeting the prescribed cybersecurity criteria undergo approval by SECP, subsequently gaining inclusion in its Whitelist of endorsed lending apps. Moreover, SECP has empowered digital lenders to introduce novel product verticals, such as embedded lending via APIs, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services, and Employer Integrated Earned Wage Access.

With a consumer-centric approach, SECP’s innovative digital lending ecosystem prioritizes transparency, data protection, and the empowerment of both businesses and consumers. Circular 14 of 2024, featuring the self-assessment declaration form, is readily accessible on SECP’s official website, facilitating compliance and fostering a robust regulatory environment in the digital lending sphere.

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