Opera Seems To Be In The Predatory Loan Business Besides Being A Browser Comany… WTF?

You might have heard of the Opera web browser. Or perhaps you might not have heard of it because its market share when compared to browsers like Chrome and Firefox is really small. I am guessing that this is affecting it’s revenue because according to Android Police, Opera has a new line of business. Predatory loans:

You may recall that Opera became a public company in mid-2017, shortly after it was purchased by a China-based investor group. Since then, Opera’s market share has continued to fall, due to the increasing dominance of Chrome. As a result, Opera decided to pivot to predatory short-term lending in Africa and Asia across four apps: OKash and OPesa in Kenya, CashBean in India, and OPay in Nigeria.

The apps have apparently remained available in the Play Store (except OPesa, which seems to be gone) by advertising different loan rates in the app description than users actually receive. For example, the listing for OKash stated its loans range from 91-365 days (the page now says 61-365 days), but an email response from the company stated it only offered loans from 15-29 days — significantly lower than the 60-day minimum enforced by Google. All of Opera’s other apps were also found to be in violation to varying extents.

If you think that’s bad, then buckle in! According to Play Store reviews, the OKash and OPesa apps sent text messages or calls to people in the user’s contacts when payments were late, threatening to take legal action or place the borrower on a credit blacklist. A former employee told Hindenburg Research that this practice ended last year “because it was said it was illegal.” That’s probably a good reason to stop doing something, right?

Opera is really scraping the bottom of the barrel here. I haven’t used Opera in years, and when it first appeared, it was a viable browser option for many. Now it is clear that the company who now owns them is pretty shady. Thus if I were you, I’d dump the Opera browser if you’re still running it because if this company does this sort of stuff, who knows what they are doing with the Opera browser. In the meantime, if you want an alternative to the browsers that are out there, try the Vivaldi browser as the team behind it is made up of Ex-Opera team members who left after the buyout. Or you can simply bite the bullet and try one of the usual suspects meaning Chrome, Firefox, or the new Edge browser. Because anything is better than what Opera is offering up to users.

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