To verify fraud, Google wants stricter proof of loan applications | Bombay News


MUMBAI: Looking at the growing cases of people being blackmailed and humiliated by online money lenders, Google has updated the Developer Policy for its Play Store, requiring personal loan apps in country provide additional proof of eligibility.
This is a stricter update to the guidelines published by Google last year. Google cracked down on personal loan apps in India in July 2021 with a three-month compliance deadline for developers. The rules included new eligibility criteria to remain on the Play Store.

According to the latest update, Google wants personal loan apps to provide a copy of the compulsory license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). App developers are also required to declare that they are not directly engaged in money lending activities and merely provide a platform to facilitate the lending of money by registered non-bank financial companies (NBFC) or banks to users. “Now, anyone who downloads such an app can read the new statements in the app’s description on Play Store,” a cyber expert said.
“New rules put in place by the tech giant should make these apps safer,” he said. Between March 1 and May 12, Mumbai witnessed 10 cases of fraud and coercion on loan applications. A resident of Malad (East) committed suicide on May 4 due to blackmail and humiliation by credit collection agents for an online application.
Besides India, the additional proof requirements apply to Indonesia and the Philippines. “Make sure the developer account name matches the associated registered business name name provided in your statement,” Google said in a support message.
“Provide a safe
“Last year, we revised our Play Store Developer Program policy for financial services apps, including additional requirements for personal loan apps in India effective September 15, 2021.”
He said Google had reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India to ensure they complied with the relevant policy, based on reports submitted by users and government agencies. “For apps that remain non-compliant after the deadline, as is the case with any policy non-compliance, we have taken the necessary enforcement action as part of our ongoing policy compliance scans, including removing apps from the Play Store,” he said.
Google flagged at least 30 objectionable loan applications in 2021 after working closely with law enforcement agencies across India. The new updates, implemented on Wednesday, follow a series of registered cases across the country against such apps.

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