Google changed the terms of service on September 5. The PlayStore will remove any apps that did not comply by the deadline of September 19th.

The Google Play Store in India requires credit aggregators and loan disbursal apps to prominently display a link to the partner bank or non-banking finance organization (NBFC). After several talks with representatives from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Google has implemented the measure as an additional security feature.

Google changed the terms of service on September 5. The PlayStore will remove any apps that did not comply by the deadline of September 19th.

According to a Google spokesperson, “We have been taking necessary enforcement action as part of our ongoing policy compliance sweeps, including removal of apps from the Play Store, for apps that remain non-compliant with the requirements past the deadline provided, as is done for any policy non-compliance.”

Users will be able to check the connection with the bank or NBFC using the live links, and these entities would then highlight on their websites a list of the loan disbursal applications or credit facilitators that they have endorsed or partnered with.

The government has been working to combat the problem of instant credit-luring digital lending apps that deceive consumers. Additionally, it has been putting pressure on the ecosystem to do more to screen out phony apps, including distribution platforms like Google that host the majority of these apps. The representative stated that Google will keep talking to industry groups and law enforcement about this problem.

According to a senior ministry official, the IT ministry is developing thorough guidelines that will outline the legal requirements that loan disbursal apps and loan facilitator platforms must follow while operating in India. This work is being done in consultation with the RBI and the finance ministry.

The official said, “Our strategy is to provide a comprehensive framework which will contain measures under which such (loan) apps can operate, rather than asking them (Google or Apple) to accept or forbid certain apps. Then, you can delete all other programs that violate these rules. Regarding this, we are in discussions with the RBI.

According to a different insider, the IT ministry has also requested that Google make its guidelines for listing loan apps “watertight.”

The RBI was tasked with creating a whitelist of lending apps that would be permitted to function in India, according to a statement from the finance ministry on September 9. The ministry stated that it would be up to the IT ministry to make sure that only these apps are permitted to run.

The institution that was underwriting the loans, the rate of interest, and other information had to be displayed clearly in such apps, according to a new Play Store regulation that Google India announced in May. In addition to requesting that the institutions list the applications on their websites, the September 5 modification mandates that they provide a link to banks and NBFCs.

Google’s policy mandates that information like the minimum and maximum period for repayment, interest rates, and other fees be mentioned in the metadata for all apps that directly offer loans, create leads for banks and NBFCs, or link clients with third-party lenders.

Additionally, “representative instances” of the entire cost, which should include the principal and any relevant fees, should be included. A privacy policy that explains how access, collection, use, and sharing of sensitive user data should be handled should also be included.

If they have one, loan applications in India must additionally provide Google India with a copy of their RBI license.

As many as 2,000 credit disbursement apps may have been removed between January and June for breaking PlayStore policies, RBI rules on money lending, law enforcement agencies’ input, and user feedback, according to Saikat Mitra, a senior director and head of trust and safety at Google in the Asia Pacific, who spoke to reporters in August.

Mitra has previously stated that stronger regulations were coming, which would make the connection between these credit distribution apps and the banking partner more obvious.