Google Play Store deletes 30 personal loan apps in India following outrage

Highlights
  • Google Play Store has updated its policies regarding personal loan apps in India
  • Apps have to highlight critical aspects of the loan, such as minimum and maximum periods of repayment, maximum Annual Percentage Rate, etc
  • 10MinuteLoan and Ex-Money are some of the apps that have been booted off the Play Store in India

As one of the world’s largest app repositories, the Google Play Store is host to a lot of apps. While Google does a decent job of keeping malicious apps in check, many still manage to slip through the cracks. Google is now focusing its efforts towards eradicating predatory personal apps off the Google Play Store. The move comes after several user reports about personal loan apps not disclosing critical information such as the minimum and maximum periods of repayment, the maximum Annual Percentage Rate, and a representative example of the total loan cost. Google has stated that it has already removed 30 apps such as 10MinuteLoan and Ex-Money (via Techcrunch) from the Play Store, with hundreds others under review.

Also read: This SMS app has been removed from Google Play Store due to privacy issues

Google has also asked the developers of the existing personal loan apps to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations. Failure to do so will result in the immediate removal of said app. From here on, Google will only allow personal loan apps with full repayment required in greater than or equal to 60 days from the date the loan is issued. Several users in countries like India, Nigeria, and Kenya have been duped by companies offering the services, who often resort to borderline illegal recovery techniques. A representative from a personal loan app called ‘Udhaar Loan’ allegedly sent inappropriate texts to a woman who had availed its services. 

The move is a follow-up to Google’s action form 2019 which prevented apps from offering personal loans with an annual percentage rate of 36 percent. This is to prevent users from falling prey to unscrupulous apps that charge astronomically high-interest rates in the guise of short-term loans.