In 2022, Google took action against 3,500 personal loan apps in India

According to Play Protect report, Google eliminated more than 3,500 personal loan apps in India during 2022.

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According to a statement by Google on April 27, the tech giant has taken strict measures against over 3,500 personal loan apps in 2022, including removing them from the Play Store for violating its policies. However, the company did not specify the exact number of apps that were removed during the year.

Earlier in August 2022, Google had reported blocking 2,000 personal loan providers from its app marketplace in India from January 2022 to July 2022. In addition to app removal, Google's enforcement actions include app rejection, suspension, restricting app discoverability, and even terminating the developer account of the application maker.

The rise of unregistered and fraudulent digital lending apps has become a significant concern for the Indian government, the Reserve Bank of India, and the Directorate of Enforcement, as many customers have been subjected to high rates of interest and aggressive loan recovery methods that have led to several cases of suicide.

In 2021, Google revised its Play Store developer program policy for financial services apps, mandating additional requirements for personal loan apps in India. These requirements include a declaration form stating that they are licensed by the RBI to offer personal loans and submitting a copy of the license, or confirming that they only provide a platform for money lending by duly licensed lenders.

In the previous year, the company had introduced additional requirements for developers who offer personal loans in India on behalf of Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and banks. These developers were required to disclose the names of all their partner NBFCs and banks prominently in the app description and provide a live website link to their respective websites where they are listed as official agents.

he company also recently updated its personal loans policy to restrict apps that provide or facilitate personal loans from accessing sensitive data of consumers, such as contacts, location, photos, videos, files, or call logs. This policy will take effect on May 31, 2023. A company spokesperson mentioned that they continue to update their policies and review processes regularly to enhance their efforts in this area.

Globally, Google prevented the publication of 1.43 million apps that violated its policies from being published on Google Play in 2022, partly due to the implementation of new security features and policy enhancements, as well as machine learning systems and app review processes.

The company also banned 173,000 bad accounts and prevented over $2 billion in fraudulent and abusive transactions during the year. Furthermore, Google claimed that it prevented about 500,000 submitted apps from accessing sensitive permissions unnecessarily over the past three years.

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