Money & Banking

Google updates policy for personal loan apps; adds new norms for India, Indonesia

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on July 29, 2021

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Google has updated its financial services policy for developers to include clarifications related to personal loan apps, as also new requirements for such apps in India and Indonesia.

“We’re updating the Financial Services policy to clarify the definition of the total cost of the loan and require all personal loan apps be properly tagged under the Finance category. We are also adding new requirements for personal loan apps in India and Indonesia,” Google said on its support page.

The changes will be effective from September 15, 2021.

As per the policy, “Apps that provide personal loans, including but not limited to apps which offer loans directly, lead generators, and those who connect consumers with third-party lenders, must have the App Category set to “Finance” in Play Console.”

The apps will have to disclose a range of information in the app metadata including minimum and maximum period for repayment, the maximum annual percentage rate (APR), which generally includes interest rate plus fees and other costs for a year, or other similar rate consistent with local law.

“A representative example of the total cost of the loan, including the principal and all applicable fees,” explains the policy.

The apps will also be required to include a privacy policy that “comprehensively discloses the access, collection, use and sharing of personal and sensitive user data”.

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Google also specified additional requirements for personal loan apps in India and Indonesia. Apps must complete the additional proof of eligibility requirements in these countries.

In India, such apps will have to complete the personal loan app declaration, and provide documentation to support their declaration. For instance, for platforms licensed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to provide personal loans, they must submit a copy of their licence for review.

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Platforms not directly engaged in moneylending, and only facilitating lending by registered non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) or banks, will have to accurately reflect this in the declaration.

They must also ensure that the developer account name reflects the name of the associated registered business name provided through their declaration.

Google in January this year had reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India and removed those that violated its policies.

The tech giant’s crackdown comes a day after the RBI announced that it has set up a working group to study all aspects of digital lending activities by both regulated and unregulated players, in a bid to put in place an appropriate regulatory approach.

Published on July 29, 2021

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