Relief for digital lending startups; MeitY to revoke ban post review

In the recent turn of events, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has decided to lift the ban orders passed on the 6th of February after reviewing the apps and conducting meetings with the industry players which has brought huge relief to digital lenders Kissht, LazyPay, Buddy Loan, Faircent, and CashTM.

LazyPay and Kissht Blocked by Meity: The Implications for Indian Digital Payments
LazyPay and Kissht Block revoked by Meity: The Implications for Indian Digital Payments

In a response to Moneycontrol’s queries, Kissht’s cofounder Ranvir Singh said, “We thank the Government of India and MeitY for revoking the order to block Kissht. The Government has shown unrelenting support in ensuring that credible and fully compliant apps such as Kissht continue to work towards greater financial inclusivity in the country,”

“We have served more than 8 million Indians since 2017 and look forward to serving many millions more in the years forward. Kissht continues to provide hassle-free credit with the objective of doubling our customer base in 2023,” Singh further added.

As per sources, KreditBee and Rupeedee have also been notified of the revocation on Aptoide platforms.

The sources also added that MeitY officials will be informing the app hosting platforms like Google to revoke the ban and let the apps run as usual.

According to another industry source, “The order came as a shocker to many digital lending apps as many were compliant in all aspects. Startups presented their side to the officials over the past two days and the ban order is likely to be revoked.”

MeitY met with several digital lenders in relation to the blocking of their websites and on platforms such as Google Play Store on February 8.

LazyPay, Kissht, Ola Finance and RupeeRedee did not issue any official statement on the matter.

In the last few days, various domestic online lending platforms like Kissht and PayU-backed LazyPay were affected after MeitY banned and blocked 138 betting apps and 94 loan lending apps that allegedly had Chinese links.

The ban was made under Sec 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000 on an ‘urgent’ and ‘emergency’ basis. According to many industry players, the ban is more to do with the platforms that are hosting the app like Google Play and Aptoide.

In an official statement, Kreditbee said, “Aptoide is a third-party App Store, with which we have no formal or informal partnership. We are speculating that it’s a proxy app on Aptoide, and investigating this further. Blocking of the Aptoide link is a favorable outcome for us.”

Sunny Mittal, VP, Compliance at RupeeRedee said, “We are speculating that it’s a proxy app on Aptoide. Blocking of the Aptoide link is a favourable outcome as for us, our official website and Google Play Store is the primary source of trusted customer base.”