African payday lenders face distribution problems if Google acts

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Access to credit in Africa is difficult because banks consider retail loans risky. But payday lenders are filling this gap, promising instant loans with no collateral.

While they provide credit, they have high interest rates and repayment periods can force customers into a debt cycle.

In response to these concerns, Google updated its policies. Introduced in August 2019, Google’s policy bans payday lenders with repayment cycles of less than 60 days from its app store.

Regardless, a search for “instant loans” returns eleven results on the Google Play store.

Besides this, Google also asks these companies to include details of loans in their meta-data on the Play store.

Apps for personal loans must disclose the following information in the app metadata:

Minimum and maximum period for repayment

Maximum Annual Percentage Rate (APR), which generally includes interest rate plus fees and other costs for a year, or similar other rate calculated consistently with local law

A representative example of the total cost of the loan, including all applicable fees

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