Google has announced it will be banning some payday loan apps from the Play Store as part of a crackdown on what it says are harmful practices.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is banning Play Store apps that offer what the company calls “deceptive or harmful” loans with annual percentage rates (APR) of 36 percent and higher.
The new expanded financial policy came into force in August, and Google says that it is already helping protect users against “exploitative” rates.
The new rules only apply to the US for the time being, in order to conform with the recently-passed Truth in Lending Act. This ensures that apps for personal loans have to display their maximum APR – including both platforms that offer loans directly and those that connect consumerd with third-party lenders.
“Our Google Play developer policies are designed to protect users and keep them safe,” a Google spokesman told the WSJ. “We expanded our financial-services policy to protect people from deceptive and exploitative personal-loan terms.”
The move follows similar action from Google back in 2016, when it banned adverts for payday loans in its search browser, having said that such were, “core to people’s livelihood and well being.”
Several US states have also looked to crack down on unfair rates in payday loans, with California last week signing a law that implements a 36 percent APR on consumer loans of $2,500 to $10,000.