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George Ma
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Legal
January 21 12:27

Researchers have accused Opera of issuing microloans at 438% per annum, bypassing Google rules

They assume that this way Opera compensates for the low profits of the core business.
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Opera browser developer has launched 4 Android applications for microloans in India, Kenya and Nigeria (CashBean, OKash, OPay and OPesa), Engadget reports citing Hindenburg Research.
The terms of the loans are not reliable. For example, they say the maximum interest rate is 33% per annum. However, the rates were raised to 438% , according to the publication.
In addition, applications offer loans for a period of 91 to 365 days, but the actual duration of repayment is 15 days on average and 29 days being the max. However, If a borrower is one day late in payment, interest can increase to 876%, the publication says.
Apps also get access to the borrower's contacts to call and write to his family and friends in case of payment delay.
In October 2019, Google banned the posting of "false and unsafe" apps for microloans in its store. In particular, apps that offer loans with an annual interest rate above 36% and a repayment period of less than 60 days.
Researchers believe that this way Opera compensates for the low profits of the core business. Opera put revenue from microloans"Fintech" segment in its report - in 2018 it did not accumulate money but in the third quarter it gave the company 42% of all revenue, the authors write.
At the time of writing, Google has not responded to the publication's request. If the researchers are right, Google will remove applications from the Play Store, and the reputation of Opera will lmost surely be destroyed.

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