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Google asks lending apps about regulatory status, threatens removal from Play Store

Google has sent emails to several digital lending mobile applications on its Play Store, requiring their operators to submit details of their regulatory and legal status within five days. If the operators do not respond within the timeline, Google says it will remove the apps from its Play Store. According to a screenshot of an email sent to one of the apps, reviewed by MediaNama, Google has sought details of whether these app operators have valid existing approvals or licenses from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to act as non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) or if they are registered under any applicable state legislation to offer such services, or if they are providing lending services as an agent of a regulated bank or NBFC. The emails were sent out late on Wednesday night to not only illegitimate lending apps on the Play Store, but also regulated entities and fintech lenders that have legitimate operations, said Akshay Mehrotra, chief executive officer of EarlySalary and founding member of the Fintech Association for Consumer Empowerment (FACE) . "Unregulated apps can do lots of things. So when borrowing from a digital lending app, consumers should look to see if it has a FACE logo on the app. This would give the industry better control and safeguard consumers," he said. "As part of our ongoing sweep of lending apps, we have asked identified developers of these apps to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations by having them submit appropriate licenses issued…

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Reports on banking, payments, fintech and crypto-curencies. Additional reporting on media regulations, data protection and other areas.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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