Google has stated that it has started taking off 2,000 controversial personal loan apps from its Play Store in India in the January-June period after consulting with law enforcement agencies.
The information was circulated when the Indian government planned to ban 300 such predatory personal loan apps soon. Most of the apps the government aims to ban have been traced to China, linked to money laundering.
At an event in New Delhi, Saikat Mitra who is Senior Director and Head of Trust and Safety at Google Asia-Pacific informed us that the blocked apps were targeting Indian users.
Mitra also informed that the tech giant will roll out more changes in its Play Store policy to curb the proliferation of such predatory apps.
Google now requires personal loan apps in India to complete the additional proof of eligibility requirements.
The eligibility includes a copy of their license by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and a declaration that they are not directly engaged in money lending activities and are only providing a platform to facilitate money lending by registered Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) or banks to users.
"If you are licensed by the RBI to provide personal loans, you must submit a copy of your license for our review," the company said in a recent blog post.
"If you are not directly engaged in money lending activities and are only providing a platform to facilitate money lending by registered Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) or banks to users, you will need to accurately reflect this in the declaration," it added.
In June, the Odisha Police's Economic Offence Wing asked Google to immediately remove 45 'fake' loan apps from the Play Store, suspected of using unethical practices to recover money from borrowers.
Google has been removing such money-lending apps in the country from time to time following directions from the RBI to monitor suspicious fintech applications.
Inputs from IANS