After the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) began to block over 200 apps and websites, confusion prevailed in the Indian lending application and fintech ecosystem, reported Business Standard.
The Digital Lenders’ Association of India (DLAI) said it was unaware of such action. “As of today, we as an association have not received any formal communication from MeitY on restricting any digital lending app or any warning on any fraudulent practices,” said the industry body in a statement.
An industry player on the condition of anonymity said, “We are clueless. We thought there was a clampdown on China-backed lending firms. Associations as well as companies are engaging with the ministry. LazyPay and Kissht were the first to do so. But we have no information on why this was done (by the government).”
Some of the apps that have ostensibly been blocked include mPokket, Faircent, Indiabulls Home Loans, PayU and Kissht.
While many internet service providers (ISPs) have blocked access to these websites, Google is reviewing a directive to restrict apps on its Play Store.
“Google has received a government request to restrict apps from the Play Store in India. It is evaluating the order and will restrict apps as appropriate after a thorough review,” said a source in the know. Google declined to comment.
The uncertainty has left companies in confusion.
Ranvir Singh, founder, Kissht, said: “We are aware that Google has been asked to take down a list of companies including ours from the Play Store. But we are unaware about the reason behind such a notification. We are meeting officials to seek clarification. Kissht has no Chinese stakeholders.”
“The problem is that no one knows the reason. No one knows if this is related to Chinese apps only, or earlier ED (Enforcement Directorate) raids or some other issue. Companies and associations are reaching out to the ministry to understand,” said another founder and CEO of a fintech and lending player on condition of anonymity.