Google has developed an app to help creditors manage devices given to customers on loan. The device lock Controller gives the creditor access to your mobile phone if you default on payments.
The device lock controller uses Android’s DeviceAdminService API to remotely control device functionality. This same API is mostly used in the corporate setting where employers track employees’ activities on their work phones. Normally, the company phones come preloaded with apps using the API making it impossible to alter them.
Google’s device lock Controller can be preloaded on the phone in the same way before a creditor issues it out to the buyer. This makes it easy for them to lock the phone remotely once you default on payment.
The most interesting bit about this app is that it was made for the Kenyan market. In July this year, Google collaborated with Safaricom to launch “Lipa mdogo mdogo”, a programme that helps customers own a smartphone for as little as Sh20 a day.
The device lock controller’s functions are clearly outlined in Safaricom’s FAQs where they state that they will “lock the phone” after four days of non-payment.
Google has since clarified that the app is not intended for use with other markets and as such, cannot be found on Google play store.