Google Cracks Whip Against Online Lending Apps In India; Starts Removing Them From Play Store
Preserving customers’ privacy has become even more important with everything turning online. This has raised questions on the legitimacy of many apps and has put them under lenses.
After India banned all the Chinese apps for using the customer’s information in an unauthorized manner, recently, Google has also removed some lending apps in India from Play Store.
Which Rule Did The Lending Apps Violate?
According to reports, there are at least 10 lending apps on the Play store that were not compliant with the rules set by Google. These apps were seen violating the ‘Loan repayment lengths’, while some of them were also seen defying the rules chalked out by the Central Bank for protecting customers.
As a result, Google has removed an unknown number of apps from Playstore to ensure the safety of the users.
How Has Google Responded?
These companies are expected to justify their credibility by proving their obedience to the rules and regulations. Through an email, Google has asked these companies to submit a valid approval or license issued from RBI (Reserve bank of India) giving them permission to act like an NBFC (Non-BAnking Financial Company).
Otherwise, they can show that they are registered under an applicable state legislature to offer these services or just prove that they are offering services as an agent of a valid NBFC.
If a company fails in responding to the requirements, its app will be removed from the Play Store.
Why Google Made This Sudden Move?
The trickery of lending apps got noticed after at least two of its users committed suicides in the last month allegedly blaming the cause of the unfortunate accidents on harassment faced from such apps.
After reviewing 50 lending apps, sources have found that these apps ask the user to give them permission to access their phone contacts. In case a borrower is seen doing default or late payments, these contacts are used by the recovery agents against them
Addressing such apps Google said, ‘ They should not use permissions that give access to the user or device data for undisclosed, unimplemented, or disallowed features or purposes”
As a result of the attention received by the matter, the Central bank has formed a special panel dedicated for monitoring online lending practices. This group will examine the potential threats and risks involved in digital lending and is expected to report its analysis in 3 months.
It is worth mentioning that users should be careful while granting access permission to any apps and should not accept all the conditions blindly.