Google India removed security-breaking personal loan apps from its PlayStore


The development comes after users and government agencies reported hundreds of loaner apps on Google PlayStore in India.

(Photo: Reuters)

STRONG POINTS

  • Google India has indicated that it allows personal loan applications with full repayment required within 60 days or more from the date of loan issuance.
  • Google noted that apps that violated its user security policies were immediately removed from the PlayStore.
  • According to a report, some loan applications charged borrowers an interest rate of up to 60%.

Google India said in a blog post on Thursday that it would remove any loaner apps on PlayStore that do not comply with local laws and regulations. The development comes after reports pointed out that at least 10 Indian loan apps that have been downloaded millions of times from Google’s Play Store have violated Google’s rules on the length or duration of loan repayments.

“We have reviewed hundreds of personal loan applications in India, based on metrics submitted by users and government agencies. Apps that violate our user security policies were immediately removed from the Store, and we asked developers of other apps to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations, ”wrote Suzanne Frey, vice president , Products, Android Security & Privacy, Google India in a blog post. “Apps that fail to do so will be removed without notice. In addition, we will continue to help the police in their investigation of this problem, “she added.

Four apps 10MinuteLoan, Ex-Money and Extra Mudra and StuCred were removed from the Play Store after Reuters reported to Google that they were violating its ban on offering personal loans requiring full repayment in 60 days or less. StuCred was cleared to return to Google’s Google Play Store on January 7 after withdrawing the 30-day loan offer, Reuters reported.

According to borrowers quoted by Reuters, at least six other apps remain available on PlayStore and offer loan repayment terms, or terms with certain terms as low as seven days. Some even charge a processing fee of up to Rs 2,000 on loans under Rs 10,000 with terms of 30 days or 60% interest rates. Indian banks, in comparison, charge annual interest rates of 10 to 20 percent for loans that are not due in full for at least a year.

“Google Play Developer Policy requires financial services apps that offer personal loans to disclose key information such as minimum and maximum repayment periods, maximum annual percentage rate, and a representative example of the total cost of the loan. Frey noted adding that Google India allows personal loan applications with full repayment required within 60 days or more from the date of loan issuance.

“We believe that transparency of information about the features, fees, risks and benefits of personal loans will help people make informed decisions about their financial needs, thereby reducing the risk of being exposed to financial products and services. deceptive, ”she wrote. Google India has asked developers to only request permissions necessary to implement current features or services to protect user privacy.

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