Google India bans money lending applications that breach consumer policies

Tech giant Google said it checked hundreds of personal loan applications in India, and those found to be breaching consumer protection policies were automatically excluded from their play store.

In a blog post published on January 14, the company confirmed that the change was focused on flags requested by users and government departments.

The post also claimed that the company had advised the remaining apps, which were not withdrawn, to conform with current requirements. Failure to comply with current laws and regulations will lead to the closure of the Play Store.

Google India said that the apps found to breach their consumer protection policy was automatically excluded from the Store and asked the creators of the remaining listed apps to show that they complied with existing local laws and regulations. Apps that refuse to do so will be deleted without further notice.

“Besides, we will continue to assist the law enforcement agencies in their investigation of this issue,’ the company said.

In its blog post, Google claimed that all developers in its Play Store adhere to the terms of the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement, which stipulates that applications must conform with existing laws and regulations, including widely agreed practices and guidelines.

Google said it needed to explain the steps it takes on the personal loan app, noting that certain sites have recently gained interest.

On 13 January, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced an internal working group to review digital lending practices to develop an effective regulatory mechanism.

The central bank said that the recent growth and success of online lending platforms/mobile lending applications (‘digital lending’) had raised some serious questions that have larger structural consequences.