Google cracks down on predatory loan apps
Google has reportedly barred certain payday loan apps from the Play Store in an effort to protect people from deceptive and exploitative personal-loan terms, as Google’s spokesman said to The Wall Street Journal.
The ban applies to apps that offer personal loans with an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 36% or higher. The search giant also doesn’t allow apps that require full repayment within 60 days. Both apps that offer loans directly and those serving as intermediaries between lenders and consumers now have to meet Google’s requirements in order to stay in the Play Store.
For the time being, the new rules apply only to the US and have been designed to conform with the Truth in Lending Act. The new policy ensures that apps offering personal loans have to display the maximum APR as well as the minimum and maximum repayment period.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Google Play rules concerning financial products and services were changed as far back as in August 2019. However, it is only now that they are coming into the media spotlight.
Consumer advocacy group Color of Change celebrated Google’s decision and is now calling for a similar ban in the Apple App Store.
Although it has become more difficult for Android users to take out short-term high-interest loans, it’s still not impossible. Users can download payday loan apps from other app stores or access lender websites through their device’s browser.
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