Google says it has removed more than 2,000 personal lending apps from its Play Store in India and is working to make some changes to its policies as the local central bank cracks down on predatory practices.
Saikat Mitra, senior director and head of trust and security at Google Asia-Pacific, said at an event in New Delhi on Thursday that the aforementioned apps targeted Indian users and that they were stopped after consulting with local law enforcement.
Within weeks, Mitra said, the company plans to make some changes to its policies to build in broader safeguards against such apps.
Google and many other firms were rapidly crack down on predatory lending programs in India, which in some cases charge exorbitant fees from customers and push ethical boundaries in their collection efforts. Some firms also use the loan business to launder money for Chinese companies, local authorities said.
The Android maker shut down hundreds of personal loan apps in India early last year and required loan apps to give customers a minimum of 60 days to repay.
The Reserve Bank of India has taken several steps in recent quarters to crack down on bad behavior by lending companies and fintech startups. In guidance published earlier this month, the central bank sought to restrict lenders’ access to customer data and disclose more information about the interest they charge.