Google is taking a stand against what it perceives as harmful payday loan apps on its Play Store.
According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, the Mountain View-based company is striking out against “deceptive or harmful” loans with annual percentage rates (APR) of 36 percent and higher.
These will be removed from the Play Store – leaving Android users unable to download the software. Well, some Android users. Unfortunately, the latest change is only being implemented in the United States for the moment.
It’s unclear whether the alteration will be rolled out to the UK in the coming months. In the UK version of the Play Store, there are a number of payday loan apps that seem to contravene the new financial rules.
For example, Amigo loans has an application in the Play Store that enables Android users to borrow between £500 and £10,000 and repay it between 12 and 60 months at an APR of 49.9 percent. Another example, dubbed Drafty, lets you borrow money quickly with a typical 89.7 percent APR, and a maximum of 91.2 percent APR.
If Google brings the same financial policy as it uses in the US, these apps wouldn’t make the cut and would instead be booted-out of the Play Store.
The changes to its US policy have been made in order to comply with the recently-passed Truth in Lending Act, which ensures that applications for personal loans have to display their maximum APR. The law applies to both services that offer the loans themselves, as well as those that just connect customers with third-party lenders.
“Our Google Play developer policies are designed to protect users and keep them safe,” a spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. “We expanded our financial-services policy to protect people from deceptive and exploitative personal-loan terms.”
The move follows a similar crackdown back in 2016, when Google took a stand against payday loan advertisements – banning them entirely from its search engine. Like payday loans, Google also bans adverts from tobacco and guns.