Google to loan app developers: Get your act right, or face removal – Latest News

Google has issued a warning to loan app developers on its platform that do not follow local laws and regulations. This comes just a day after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) set up a working group to regulate digital lending through loan apps. “Recent spurt and popularity of online lending platforms/ mobile lending apps (‘digital lending’) has raised certain serious concerns which have wider systemic implications,” the central bank said in a statement on January 13.

“Providing a safe and secure experience across Google’s products is our top priority. Our global product policies are designed and implemented with this goal in mind, and we’re always working to improve our practices to enhance user safety. Personal loan apps have received attention recently, and we wanted to clarify the action we have taken on these apps on Google Play,” says Suzanne Frey, vice president, Product, Android Security and Privacy, Google, in a blog post.

The blog gives ultimatum to developers that they need to get their act in place or their apps will be removed from the Play Store for failing to meet the guidelines. “We have reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India, based on flags submitted by users and government agencies. The apps that were found to violate our user safety policies were immediately removed from the Store, and 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,” adds the blog post.

Google Play Developer Policy requires financial services apps that offer personal loans to disclose key information such as the minimum and maximum periods of repayment, the maximum Annual Percentage Rate, and a representative example of the total loan cost.

“To help further ensure that users are making sound choices, we only allow personal loan apps with full repayment required in greater than or equal to 60 days from the date the loan is issued,” says the blog post.

Earlier, RBI had also cautioned individuals and small businesses against falling prey to the growing number of unauthorised digital lending platforms and mobile apps on promises of getting quick and hassle-free loans.

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