Search engine giant Google reviewed hundreds of loan apps on the Play Store and found that an unidentified number of apps violated the Play Store’s safety policies. The company has removed these apps from its platform.
Google’s crackdown on lending apps in the country comes after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that it was forming a working group to regulate digital lending.
The Silicon Valley-based firm said it will be implementing strong measures to prevent abuse following reports that these fake loan apps were targeting vulnerable borrowers and then going to extreme lengths to recover money.
Additionally, the company asked the developers of the remaining loan apps to demonstrate that they are in compliance with the local laws and regulations. The internet giant has given 5-day time to the developers to provide information regarding–‘minimum and maxim periods of repayment’, ‘maximum annual percentage rate’, and ‘representative example of the total loan cost’.
“We have asked the developers of the remaining identified apps to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations. Apps that fail to do so will be removed without further notice. In addition, we will continue to assist the law enforcement agencies in their investigation of this issue,” said Google in its blog.
Google said it will only allow only personal loan apps “with full repayment required in greater than or equal to 60 days from the date the loan is issued”.
Recently, borrowers have identified several lending apps like 10MinuteLoan and Ex-Money that granted instant loans to people and levy huge interest and processing charges. They then resort to systematic abusing, harassing, and threatening the defaulters.
Many borrowers have been fallen prey to such illegal and unauthorised loan apps. While some victims have revealed their plight, others have killed themselves after they were harassed by app-makers to an extreme level.
Since December 20, six people died of suicide in Telangana due to harassment by fraud loan apps. The state police have arrested four Chinese nationals and registered 50 cases related to loan app scam.
The Reserve Bank of India has also raised concern over the recent spurt in online lending and cautioned users against loans being offered by unauthorised digital platforms. The Central bank requested people to verify the background of entities that were offering easy and lucrative loans.
The RBI also urged people to never share copies of KYC documents with unidentified persons, unverified/unauthorised apps.