India – Tech giant Google is in hot water recently, as it is being asked by Indian authorities and the central bank to put stringent measures in place against illegal digital lending applications uploaded on Google’s Play Store, according to an exclusive report from Reuters.
According to the report, Google and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have been meeting in the past few months to urge tougher checks and balances that can help in weeding out such apps.
Multiple local regulators have long pushed Indian lenders to have stricter checking on new lending app players. Some of the ‘red flags’ for illegal lender apps include charging excessive interest rates and fees or in recovery practices which are not authorised by the central bank or violate money laundering and other government guidelines.
A Google spokesperson said, “We have removed over 2,000 personal loan apps targeting India from the Play Store for violation of the Play policy requirements. We will continue to engage with law enforcement agencies and industry bodies to help address this issue.”
While India’s central bank requires that any lending apps listed on app stores be backed by regulated entities, it is up to Google to enforce this and monitor compliance. The tech giant has also been asked to look at curtailing the rise of such apps via other distribution channels such as websites and other means of downloads.