Google says it has pulled more than 2,000 personal loan apps from its Play Store in India and is working on some changes to its policies at a time when the local central bank is increasingly cracking down on predatory practices.
Saikat Mitra, Senior Director and Head of Trust and Safety at Google Asia-Pacific, said at an event in New Delhi on Thursday that the aforementioned apps targeted Indian users and that it has removed the apps after consulting with local law enforcement agencies.
In a few weeks, Mitra said, the company plans to make some changes to its policies to build broader protections against such apps.
Google and a host of other companies are racing to crack down on predatory lending apps in India that have been found to charge exorbitant fees from customers in some cases and push ethical boundaries in their collection efforts. Some companies also use the credit to launder money for Chinese companies, local authorities report.
The Android maker pulled hundreds of personal loan apps in India early last year and required lending apps to give customers a minimum of 60 days to repay.
The Reserve Bank of India has taken several steps in recent quarters to eliminate bad behavior from lenders and fintech startups. In a directive released earlier this month, the central bank sought to limit lenders’ access to customer data and increase disclosure about the interest they charge.