Apple Removes Predatory Lending Apps from Indian App Store
Apps, including Pocket Kash, White Kash, Golden Kash, and OK Rupee, were delisted by Apple this week.
While these apps gained popularity by offering quick loans to Indian consumers and even reached the top 20 of the finance category on the App Store, they were accompanied by exorbitant charges that sparked outrage among users.
Moreover, these lending apps resorted to unethical practices to coerce borrowers into repayment. Many user reviews highlighted instances where borrowers received threatening messages, including personal photos and contacts being used as leverage for repayment.
After being contacted by TechCrunch, Apple promptly responded by removing at least six of these predatory lending apps within two days.
Apple cited violations of its Developer Program License Agreement and guidelines, emphasizing that the apps were falsely representing an association with a financial institution.
Wtf is this, a personal loan app called Kash is threatening to send morphed nude photos of their customer to her entire contact list?! pic.twitter.com/5LcsukVgef
— Sandhya Ramesh (@sandygrains)
Predatory lending apps have emerged in India’s expanding fintech landscape, taking advantage of the country’s increasing smartphone adoption and the economic vulnerabilities of individuals.
The situation has become even more precarious during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated financial insecurities due to widespread job losses and reduced incomes.
While Google’s Play Store has historically been the primary platform for such predatory lending apps in India, Apple’s recent actions demonstrate its commitment to curbing these practices.
Both Google and India’s central bank have previously taken steps to address the issue, mandating transparency in loan terms and restricting access to personal data for lending apps.