Apple currently operates its own payment service, Apple Pay, and credit card, Apple Card, in foreign markets. Unfortunately, these services are not yet available in India. However, there are reports suggesting that Apple is considering launching its Apple Card in India in collaboration with HDFC Bank. Additionally, Apple Pay may also soon be introduced in the country.
Apple Card in India?
As per a report from MoneyControl, citing sources familiar with the matter, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, met with HDFC Bank CEO and MD Sashidhar Jagdishan during his trip to India earlier in April. The Apple Card will be launched in India as a co-branded credit card with HDFC Bank.
The discussions are in the early stages, and a decision has not been arrived at, the sources told MoneyControl. The nature of the discussion, as well as when Apple intends to launch this in India, could not be determined as of yet.
“Apple works only with the biggest and the best and hence the discussions with HDFC Bank. While a lot goes into building partnerships, banks and other brands would be willing to sweeten the deal terms to get Apple on board,” the report read.
Not only that, but Apple is also considering significant deviations from the standard co-branded credit card model in India, one of the sources said. In India though, Apple’s approach will have to be different than in the US. This is because only banks are allowed to launch credit cards in India, and as a result, Apple cannot launch a plain card with just its own logo in the country, which it does in United States.
Even in the US, the Goldman Sachs name and Mastercard logo, with whom Apple has partnered to provide the card, also appear on the backside of the Apple Card. Moreover, there’s no number mentioned on the card in the US but in India, it’s mandatory and Apple will have to abide by the rules.
“To get all the premium Apple customers on board for their credit card is a great proposition for the banks, but none of them can offer any substantial privileges as the regulations around this is strict,” one of the sources mentioned.
According to one of the sources, RBI has already had discussions with Apple regarding the card and has asked the brand to follow the regular procedure for co-branded credit cards, without offering any special consideration for the company.
As of now, Apple doesn’t provide cards as a payment option on Apple App Store because of the laws here in the country. These laws require third-party websites to not store any card details on their platforms but only in a tokenised form.
Further, the payment data should be stored only on Indian servers, while an OTP should always be sent to the consumer so he/she can authenticate the transaction. All these restrictions have made Apple disable the cards option and rely only on Apple account balance, UPI and internet banking.
Apple Pay to also arrive soon?
The technology giant is also discussing with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to possibly launch Apple Pay in the country, a third source told Moneycontrol. However, It hasn’t been made clear whether these discussions are regarding its credit card being powered by NPCI’s Rupay platform or whether it is in regards with Unified Payments Interface (UPI). If Apple does launch a RuPay card, it will also be able to link to UPI.