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Opera accused for offering predatory loans through certain apps in the Play Store

Opera accused of providing predatory loans through apps on play store

Well, everyone knows the fact that the Opera browser, at present, is in no way any competition for the Chrome browser. Ever since the emergence of the Chrome browser, Opera has been struggling to carve a niche for itself. Now, Hindenburg Research reports that owing to severe losses occurring from time to time, the company has created a few apps on the Google Play store that supply loans.

Now, the important point to be noted here is that these apps offer loans with a limited time frame for payments. Also, the interest rates offered are too high. Yes, you heard that right. According to the report, the interest rates offered are somewhere between 365% to 876%, which is enormously high. This is against the rules and regulations of the Google Play Store that have been designed just during the previous year.

For those who are unaware, Opera became a public firm somewhere during the middle of 2017. This was due to the reason that prior to Opera becoming a public company, a Chinese investor group had taken over it. However, after that, there has been a continuous downward trend observed in the market share of Opera, owing to the increasing popularity of Chrome.

In the process of getting itself back into the market, Opera decided to rely on four apps that supplied predatory loans. Out of these four, two of the apps namely-OKash and OPesa were for Kenya, CashBean was for India and OPay was for Nigeria.

Barring OPesa, all the other apps seem to exist on Play Store. For unknown reasons, OPesa seems to have disappeared from the Play Store. All of these apps are apparently advertising loan rates in their descriptions that are quite different from what the users actually receive.

Now consider this instance. The description for the OKash app on the Play Store states that its loan payment window is around 91-365 days. At present, this listing has been changed to 61-365 days. But the shocking part was all about an email that surfaced from the firm stating that the loan window was just from 15-29 days. This is much lower than the 60-day time period set by Google for such kind of apps. The other loan apps too, were found to have such kinds of violations. And that too the variations in the loan windows were pretty huge, between what was stated and what was actually being offered.

The above piece of information surely does not give any good vibes when it comes to these apps. Many people have posted certain negative reviews in the Play Store regarding the OKash and OPesa apps. Apparently, the concerned authorities and officials from these two apps have sent SMS messages and even made calls to those people who made delayed payments. In certain cases, the borrowers have even been threatened with legal action against them. Some borrowers have even stated that they have been threatened to be placed on a credit blacklist.

A person, when placed on a credit blacklist, could end up in a lot of trouble. This could even pose a threat to their future financial prospects or, in some extreme cases, even their careers. An employee who is no longer a part of Opera has apparently told Hindenburg Research that these practices were stopped last year itself because they were termed as illegal. A probe is on into this entire matter. In case these allegations against Opera turn out to be true, there could be trouble brewing in for the firm. Google would end up removing all these apps from the Play Store, putting Opera’s reputation at stake.

One can only hope that any kind of apps violating any of the rules of the Play Store should be banished completely from the platform. That would surely reduce people’s woes.

Image Source: Engadget

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