During Google for India 2023, Google revealed its partnership with the Fintech Association for Consumer Empowerment (FACE) to tackle harmful digital lending apps on the Play Store in India. FACE will assist Google by providing information about these apps, helping Google detect and take quick action against personal loan apps that don't follow Play Store rules.
This collaboration aids the goals of Google’s new safety initiative, DigiKavach, which aims to safeguard people from increasingly sophisticated financial scams wrought by online criminals by working with industry experts.
Sugandh Saxena, CEO at FACE, said, “Reporting of hundreds of illegal lending apps by FACE has prevented lakhs of customers from falling prey. Google has taken commendable steps in this space and established a stringent policy framework to prevent bad actors. These collective efforts have helped mitigate user harm and reduce the number of predatory apps we’re seeing today. Our collaboration with Google marks a crucial step in our endeavor to enable a safe environment for consumers to access digital lending. The convergence of FACE’s market intelligence with Google’s efforts will add another critical layer of defense as these apps evolve in sophistication and speed.”
Saikat Mitra, vice president and head of trust and safety at Google APAC, said, “At Google, we are committed to building a secure digital environment for all, and we're doubling down our efforts to protect people against ever-evolving scams, malware, and fraud. FACE has been doing commendable work in mitigating user harm by fraudulent loan apps, and we’re pleased to collaborate with them to collectively build up our defenses and protect users. The combination of their market expertise and our rigor across threat intelligence, policies, and enforcement will strengthen our collective efforts to fight predatory loan apps and enable a safe user experience.”
FACE has been extensively monitoring the digital lending space in India and contributed to weeding out hundreds of predatory personal loan apps. In the last 15 months, FACE has reported 700+ dubious apps to app stores, regulators, and government authorities.