Apple Shelves Plans for Apple Pay in India After Facing Regulatory Issues and Technical Hurdles

Thursday September 6, 2018 5:56 AM PDT by Mitchel Broussard

Apple has temporarily halted plans to launch Apple Pay in India after facing troubles with regulators in the country and a few technical hurdles, according to The Economic Times. Specifically, Apple is said to be concerned about the Reserve Bank of India's recent data localization rule, which requires companies to store all of their payments data for local users only in India.


Because of this rule, numerous companies -- including Apple, Amazon, PayPal, WhatsApp, Visa, and MasterCard -- have faced uncertainties regarding the rollout of their respective mobile wallets in India. Apple is said to have gone so far as to meet with a few leading banks and the National Payments Corporation of India, which manages the country's Unified Payments Interface platform.

In addition, Apple has reportedly encountered a few technical and design hurdles surrounding Apple Pay's India launch, relating to the inclusion of Touch ID as a mode of authentication for payments in India on supported iPhones. The NPCI did not agree to this plan, because the country's UPI is based on a six or four-digit passcode to authenticate transactions and does not have support for smartphone-based biometric security features yet.

Following these hurdles, plans as of now have been shelved, according to two people familiar with the matter.

“Apple will not launch payments in India yet. They are waiting to see how the regulatory landscape shapes up,” one of them said.

The Apple Pay news is just the latest in a string of negative reports regarding Apple's attempt at expansion in India, one month after the company faced a potential legal threat over noncompliance with the Indian government's anti-spam iPhone app. Otherwise, the company has had trouble in the country due to ever-increasing taxes on imported smartphones, rising iPhone prices because of such taxes, and user frustration with poor Apple services like Apple Maps.

In an attempt to finally rectify these issues, Bloomberg in August reported that Apple is planning a completely revamped India strategy led by Apple executive Michel Coulomb. This includes better and longer-lasting retail deals with higher sales targets, the opening of official Apple retail stores in India, "overhauling" the company's relationship with independent retailers, and improving apps and services "aimed more closely at Indians."

Apple Pay was never mentioned as part of that strategy, so it doesn't appear that users in India will have a chance to use the company's mobile wallet anytime soon. Otherwise, Apple Pay is available in over two dozen countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland, Hong Kong, France, Russia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, UAE, Brazil, Ukraine, Norway, and Poland.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: India

Top Rated Comments

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21 months ago
Superpower my backside. Abject poverty, no regulation, total lawless control over commercial copyright, corruption at the highest levels and highly sophisticated organised crime.....but they're launching rockets by piling huge amounts of money into a space program while children die from malnutrition, disease is rife and millions live in squalor.

Sounds like a superpower to me.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago

superpower by 2020 tho

We would have been. Had not this current government put us back by atleast 10 years.

Apple seriously needs to give up on India for the time being. The country isn’t ready yet.

It won’t be for another 10 years atleast.

India is a joke. It’s so anti business it’s hilarious.

Thriving businesses are coming to a stand still. I had a thriving business. Was forced to immigrate to Canada.

Agreed. I didn’t believe it before but it seems India is refusing Apple due to it being an American co

Nah. It’s just too much red tape and corruption.

I don't know to be honest. Google doesn't seem to be the Pro-American company like Apple does abroad ... in terms of perception. I mean Google's or Alphabet's Android is heavily entrenched there and shows diversity. Maybe it's because their CEO is Pichai Sundararajan (Sundar Pichai; as commonly known), was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India and went to school early on in provinces there. He pretty much is the epitome of Indian success now that he's at Google!

Cook ... born and bread in USA (education, etc) and let's face it ... doesn't seem much of a family man; which is very huge in their culture there. This is my assumption so don't take anything from it ... but I just somehow feel Apple is viewed as an American company not unlike 1984 where Google is not. Samsung is making great strides there too.

You really think 95% of the Indians even know who Sundar Pichai is?

Couldn't agree more.

From World Bank data:

* Access to electricity: 84.5% of population
* Literacy rate: 69%
* Extreme poverty rate ($1.90/day): 21.2%


Outside of that, you have the country not enforcing laws related to gang rape or honor killings of women.

It's crazy Indian regulators don't allow fingerprint authentication for Apple Pay but allows the above to go unnoticed.

Doesn’t allow it because they know they can’t hack it. Oh and you forget the lynching to death of numerous people because they were “suspected” of eating beeef. And the murderers being given a national flag salute when they died or being felicitated by the government.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago

Superpower my backside. Abject poverty, no regulation, total lawless control over commercial copyright, corruption at the highest levels and highly sophisticated organised crime.....but they're launching rockets by piling huge amounts of money into a space program while children die from malnutrition, disease is rife and millions live in squalor.

Sounds like a superpower to me.

Let me tell you something.

Amazon
1. India was the 4th country after US, UK, Germany to get Amazon Alexa, far ahead of other European Countries.
2. India is one of a few countries to have a local Amazon Website.
3. Amazon has already invested around $5 Billion in India.

Walmart
1. Recently Invested $16 Billion in India by purchasing Flipkart.

Google
1. Google regularly holds events in India where they show features developed for Indian markets which may sometimes roll out globally. [Example - Offline Video]
2. Google already has its payment app in India - 'Google Tez'.

Apple
1. Apple is trying very hard to expand in India.
2. They have started manufacturing locally in India.


I find two possibilities here -

1. Either all the executives of the above tech companies are stupid as they are focusing so heavily on the Indian market.
2. You are smarter than all the executives of above companies.

Regarding the space program

India is the 3rd largest economy of world in terms of PPP [GDP $8.7 trillion] and 6th largest in terms of nominal GDP [$2.4 Trillion]

And Since expenditures such as Military spending and space programs are largely dependent on GDP rather than GDP per capita So India can very well afford its space program.

And BTW we are sending a manned space flight in next few years. None of the European Country has ever done that.

Also in a decade India will surpass every European Country in terms of nominal GDP.
It is already ahead in terms of GDP [Purchasing power Parity] than all other European countries.

World is a dynamic place. World order changes.

So please take off your rose tinted glasses and respect the new world order, where majority of Europe is in decline And India is growing.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago

superpower by 2020 tho

Lol. What has that got to do with India not having Apple Pay? We will be perfectly fine without Apple Pay. Or any Apple product to be honest. There are plenty of options available in India for online mobile based transactions. Apple needs India. India does not need Apple.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago
I am from India. Posters before this post have some idea of India, and I feel sorry for my country that we have such a perception in the world and are somehow looked down upon without looking at both sides of the coin, and certainly not inside one's own backyard.

The discussion is about Apple halting the Apple Pay release, and I will stick to why that is. I will not digress into superpower perceptions and political nonsense this thread is getting into just because the first poster to reply to the Macrumors post set the tone so wrong.

There is only one reason that Apple Pay is facing hurdles in India, and that is NOT that the country wants its data within the country - that is okay - but that the government of the day is sure to be wanting some form of snooping possibility that the folks at Apple would be refusing to allow. Simple things such as Touch ID integration is on the payments backbone and frankly, India is capable of a lot, but the ill desire to turn everything into political mileage somehow, is hurting the end user in the long run.

About Samsung and Google, the less said the better.

The only reason Apple Pay is facing issues (not to be confused with Apple's overall issues in the country) is due to the fact that there is a chance that the government may not be able to snoop. The current government is hell bent on turning everything into political mileage for 2019. This is also probably payback to Apple, who refused to allow TRAI some stupid app-based access to message content (good Apple). Very recently, the government was mulling plans to ask networks to disengage and deregister iOS devices on their network to punish Apple for not allowing them that access.

Dear forum members, cut out the anger and the bile, please. Third world, developing nations are still humans. There is nothing to be earned looking at us condescendingly, that when we have so many poor and so many issues, we are thinking of space programmes and what not. Tell me, is there no poor man, no hungry man, no shelterless person in the developed countries anymore? :)

It is my request to you, be kind. Man is man, wherever he is, whichever country he belongs to, ultimately he belongs in this world only. There is nothing to be gained by looking down upon, and commenting like what I have read above. If at all, sympathise and look objectively at the country, the countrymen, the issues the people are facing. Look at both sides of the coin, it is the least that you can do. No?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago
Looks like a “Not invented here. “ problem.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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