Buy a smartphone on EMI? It can break if you don’t pay the down payments
Buying a smartphone on EMI is nothing new – with flagship smartphones becoming more expensive with each passing year, OEMs and retailers, as well as banks, offer a wide range of EMI options. that allow you to take advantage of phones that might otherwise be a bit of a stretch. However, while the metro and Tier 1 markets in India have customers with certified credit scores, which allows for a simplified credit card-based refund process, the rest of India does not enjoy the same benefits. . A recent report at Rest of the world has now highlighted this problem: buying a smartphone on EMI for lower values and apps used to track users and lock their phones in cases of non-payment.
Lack of credit history
The report highlights a startup named Datacultr, which has tapped into this ecosystem even realizing that even those without immediately available capital still want to buy phones. Those who need or wish to use a smartphone on EMI in India do not always have a credit history or credit ratings, which are typically used to assess a buyer’s creditworthiness – and therefore reflect whether a loan can be sanctioned for one person. These procedures are used to determine whether a person may present a risk of theft when it comes to refunding the phones they have purchased – this is where the role of Datacultr’s app comes in.
In essence, when a person with no credit history purchases a smartphone on EMI, an app is necessarily installed on the recently purchased device, with no way for users to uninstall it. This app accesses all of a user’s data – their text messages, photos, and location, which they then hold as collateral for their loan.
the Rest of the world report claims that Datacultr takes about three to four months to assess a customer’s risk, and then begins to use a wide variety of means to force a user to repay in the event that they miss a payment schedule. These means include audio-visual notifications in local languages to start – then turn into force-changing wallpapers, push notifications whenever features like cameras are used, blocking social media apps popular, and thereafter, locking a smartphone until the payments are cleared.
While lenders claim this amounts to a policy of just remembering, these formats of forcing repayment are coming under increasing scrutiny. Google India, for example, cracked down on hundreds of instant loan apps and services in January after personal harassment complaints based on loan repayments surfaced. These unregulated instant loan services usually operate with high interest and bet on the loan offering without holding any collateral. This bet includes aggressive tactics to force a user to pay back. In this case of a loan app that tracks a smartphone on EMI to ensure that a user pays back what is owed, such tactics may not be totally undue.
Datacultr’s loan tracking app is said to be installed on more than 1,800 phones in the Indian subcontinent and Ivory Coast, where smartphone sales are strong. This is essentially a two way issue where buying a smartphone on EMI has become easy, but also risks considerable harassment if EMI payment dates are missed for whatever reason. Since these loans are also not protected by regulatory policies, this is a gamble that users take, and they should be aware of the risks they could eventually fall into – including having their phone plugged in. by a lender if they do not repay. .