Opera has been under a lot of scrutiny because of their loan apps these past few days. Users all over the world can’t help but air their views on the matter. While the Opera browser has a number of features that could attract people away from Chrome, Google’s product completely dominates the market.
According to a new report, Opera has expanded into loan apps to help bring in extra revenue. However, their extortionate interest rates and short repayment times put them in violation of Google’s Play Store policies.
Haha.. Just when I thought we had it bad here with OKash Indonesia is worse pic.twitter.com/CWvvJzQPTr
— Droid (@droid254) January 20, 2020
Hindenburg Report on The Loan Apps
The interest rates are 438%!!!
Hindenburg Research has published a report alleging that Opera is running four Android apps aimed at India, Kenya and Nigeria. Namely, CashBean, OKash, OPay and OPesa, that appear to be in direct violation of Google Play Store policies forbidding predatory loans and deceptive descriptions. The apps would claim to offer maximum annual percentage rate (APR) of 33 percent or less. Actually, the rates were much higher, climbing to 438 percent in the case of OPesa. While they publicly offered reasonable loan terms of 91 to 365 days, the real length was no more than 29 days (for OKash) and more often 15 days. This is well under Google’s 60-day minimum.
There is one loan provider who sends email to your company's general email address with your bosses in cc asking you to pay or send their team to your office. They made a certain bank manager resign his job.
— Paul Carter. (@paulCarter2912) January 20, 2020
If the report is accurate, though, Opera is in trouble. Google could easily pull the loan apps (if not more) from the Play Store, and Opera’s reputation will be trashed. The apps are still on the PlayStore and we’re waiting for an official word from Google.
According to endaget, Opera objects to Hindenburg’s allegations. A spokesperson pointed Engadget to a statement on its investor site claiming that Hindenburg’s report included “numerous errors, unsubstantiated statements, and misleading conclusions and interpretations.” The company also said in email that it believed Hindenburg was merely trying to “short Opera shares.”
Reviews From Loan App Users