In response to a query from the Lok Sabha, the Ministry of Information Technology said that after being informed by law enforcement of the availability of some money lending applications which may not have been compliant to the applicable legal and regulatory framework, Google has already removed approximately 100 of these applications. from December 2020 until January 20, 2021.
The Ministry of IT said it has received a number of complaints from the public against fraud and malfeasance by a few online instant loan applications available on the internet including Google PlayStore.
Last month, Google said it had reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India and removed several that violated its app policies.
The company said it asked developers of the remaining identified apps to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations in India.
“We reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India, based on reports submitted by users and government agencies,” said Suzanne Frey, VP, Product, Android Security and Privacy.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in December that legitimate public lending activities can be undertaken by banks, NBFCs registered with the RBI and other entities regulated by state governments under appropriate legal provisions. such as money lending laws.
“Members of the public have been warned not to fall prey to such unscrupulous activities and have been advised to check the background of the company/company offering the loans online or through mobile apps,” the RBI had said.
In accordance with the “Google Play Developer Policy”, financial services apps that offer personal loans are required to disclose key information such as minimum and maximum repayment periods, maximum annual percentage rate and a representative example of the total loan cost.
To further ensure that users are not subject to unfair terms, only personal loan applications that require full repayment within or equal to 60 days from the date of loan issuance are permitted, pursuant to Google policy.