2000 loan apps had been removed by Google from Play Store in India

Google Play Store in mobile screen

Google reported that 2000 apps account for more than half of all lending apps. Since the beginning of the year, the apps have been removed. Google shifted its focus to lending apps in India after the Reserve Bank of India issued a framework for prohibiting unregulated lending activities in order to protect borrowers from harassment, blackmail, and predatory lending.

“Supported by local research and feedback from our stakeholders, we have been updating the Google Play policies associated with personal loan apps in India,” said Saikat Mitra, Senior Director and Head of Trust & Safety for Google Asia-Pacific. He went on to say that the apps posed a risk to Indian users, so the company decided to remove them after consulting with law enforcement.

Mitra also disclosed that while apps are reviewed on the Google Play Store when they are uploaded, many criminal activities were also reported offline in the case of loan apps. A number of intern users have reported incidents of harassment and loan repayment blackmail.

After the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) suggested passing a law banning unregulated lending activities, Google became aware of the unregulated lending apps (BULA). India currently lacks apps that have been approved by the government, Mitra continued. Even though they may not seem dangerous, loan apps can actually be a threat to users. He opposes a total ban on personal lending apps, though, as he thinks there are some useful ones as well. People do require access to credit, particularly in the wake of the pandemic and job losses. There are dozens of good loan apps for every bad one, he said.

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