As part of a crackdown on what is considered to be harmful practices, Google has made the announcement of banning some payday loan apps from the Play Store. The targeted apps are those that offer what Google considers to be “deceptive or harmful” loans with annual percentage rates (APR) of 36 percent and higher.
The decision is part of the new financial policy which came in August, and it’s being made for the sake of users’ protection against exploitative intentions.
The new rules only apply for the US
Although the new rules only apply for the US for the time being, it’s not excluded that at some point in the future we will see them among users from other states.
The measure ensures that the apps for personal loans have to show their maximum APR, which includes both platforms that offer loans directly.
“Our Google Play developer policies are designed to protect users and keep them safe,” a Google spokesman stated. “We expanded our financial-services policy to protect people from deceptive and exploitative personal-loan terms.”
In 2016, Google banned adverts for payday loans in its search browser, going by stating that those were “core to people’s livelihood and well being.”
Not everybody is happy with Google’s decision
“What Google is doing is unfair in the commerce world,” said Mary Jackson, chief executive of Online Lenders Alliance. “It harms legitimate operators and harms consumers looking for legal loans.”
Google will even ban other apps besides the predatory lending ones. The Google Play Developer Policy center has a big list of banning content like gambling apps and privacy violations, as well as child endangerment and hate speech.
Some may find all these restrictions absurd, but they should also consider the amazing web services Google is providing for a whole planet. You know what they say: nothing is actually for free in this world. Google doesn’t charge users for most of its services, but instead they come with these bans and people are somehow constrained to accept it.