Google says it has pulled more than 2,000 personal loan apps from its Play Store in India and is working to make some policy changes 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 the apps were pulled in consultation with local law enforcement.
Within a few weeks, Mitra said, the company plans to make some changes to its policy to build broader safeguards against such apps.
Google and dozens of other companies have been race to crack down on predatory lending apps in India who have been found to be overcharging customers in some cases and pushing ethical boundaries in their collection efforts. Some firms also use the lending business to launder money for Chinese companies, local authorities said.
The Android maker pulled hundreds of personal loan apps in India early last year and required loan apps to give customers at least 60 days to repay.
The Reserve Bank of India has taken several steps in recent quarters to stamp out misbehavior by lending firms and fintech startups. In guidance published earlier this month, the central bank sought to restrict lenders’ access to customer data and provide more information about the interest rates they charge.