Authorities ask Google to help curb illegal lending apps
Representatives for the US tech giant Google have been repeatedly called for meetings with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) officials over the last few months to request more stringent checks on the Play Store to aid with curbing the proliferation of illegal digital lending mobile applications.
According to a report by Reuters, Google has faced pressure to make these changes, despite the fact that its operations do not come under the ambit of the RBI. Regulators had already previously asked lending institutions to increase scrutiny of the lending apps they work with, with many illegal lenders popping up during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns.
Indian authorities are looking to regulate lending apps that practice unscrupulous activities such as charging excessive interest fees, or using recovery practices that are not approved by the central bank or that violate money laundering practices and other government guidelines.
A Google spokesperson told Reuters that the Play Store has been updating its checks, including having additional requirements for personal loan applications in India since September 2021.
"We have removed over 2,000 personal loan apps targeting India from the Play Store for violation of the Play policy requirements," the spokesperson said. "We have removed over 2,000 personal loan apps targeting India from the Play Store for violation of the Play policy requirements."