Google kills over 2,000 personal loan apps from India’s Play Store
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At a time when the local central bank is aggressively cracking down on exploitative tactics, Google says it has removed more than 2,000 personal loan apps from its Play Store in India and is working to change its policy, according to a TechCrunch report.
The removed apps were targeted at Indian consumers, according to Saikat Mitra, senior director and head of trust and safety at Google Asia-Pacific. They said so at an event in New Delhi on Thursday, August 25.
“A large portion of Play Store lending apps have been removed…I would say over 50% of them (were in violation of Google policies),” Mitra said in a statement.
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Predatory loan applications
The tech giant had to remove the apps after speaking with local law enforcement. According to Mitra, the company intends to make some policy changes in the coming weeks to create greater safeguards against such apps.
Google and several other companies are rushing to take action against predatory lending apps in India that have proven successful in some cases where the apps charge customers exorbitant fees and go beyond acceptable limits in their collection operations .
TechCrunch noted that local officials claimed some companies were also using the loan apps to launder money for Chinese companies.
Last year, the creator of Android banned hundreds of personal loan applications in India and required loan apps to give users at least 60 days to repay their loans.
In recent months, the Reserve Bank of India has also taken a number of steps to end inappropriate behavior by lending companies and fintech startups.
Additionally, India’s central bank has attempted to limit loan companies’ access to customer data and increase transparency about the interest rates they charge in a directive announced earlier this month.
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Written by Joaquin Victor Tacla
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