Buying a mobile phone in India is not as simple as it is in Spain or other more developed countries in the world. Although they are extremely cheap, a mobile phone in India still costs more than in Spain in proportion to the user’s salary. The solution? Loans. What if the loans are not repaid? Remote smartphone lock.
According to rest of the world, it is an increasingly common practice in India. Lenders install their own software on the phone that automatically alerts the user or locks features if you are late with payments. Something possible on Android phones where you have more access to system settings, although not on Apple iPhones.
The lack of formal credit scores or payment guarantees has led India to search for alternative methods of offering credit and lenders to secure repayment. One of the most common solutions is offer partial control of the phone until fully paid for. And if not, revoke control of it.
It starts with a warning on the wallpaper
The actions that the lenders software takes on the phones are gradual and rise as payments are further delayed. First, it begins by sending notifications and if they are late with a payment, they change the wallpaper for one that remembers that there is a pending payment. Later it begins to send notifications whenever the user opens one of their favorite apps, for example if they take many photos the notification appears every time the camera is opened.
After? According to rest of the world, this is when the function locks begin. For example, you start by blocking common apps like Facebook or Instagram. From there you go to more and more apps if you don’t pay. At some point, the mobile is completely blocked until it is paid the outstanding of the loan.
According to one of the companies that carries out this type of action, they see how users pay 50% of the time in the first three days after setting the wallpaper. In a week they say that 70% of users catch up on payments.
The move these lenders take in India is not new according to the rest of the world. Other companies similar techniques are also used in other developing countries to lock the phones if they are not paid on time. PayJoy for example offers its phone blocking services in Mexico, South Africa, India and China. There is even an official Google app to do this.
Vía | rest of the world