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Apple in Talks to Bring Apple Card to India, Revolutionizing Payment Options

India's Financial Landscape Set for Disruption as Apple Considers Apple Card Launch

24 June 2023

|

Kunal Tyagi

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  • Apple is in discussions with Indian banks and regulators to introduce the Apple Card in India.

  • The discussions involve the possibility of launching the Apple Card as a co-branded credit card with HDFC Bank.

  • The Reserve Bank of India has requested Apple to follow standard procedures for co-branded credit cards without any special considerations.

Apple is reportedly in discussions with Indian banks and regulators to introduce its popular credit card, the Apple Card, to the Indian market. During his recent trip to India, Apple CEO Tim Cook met with the CEO and MD of HDFC Bank, Sashidhar Jagdishan, to explore the possibility of bringing the credit card and Apple Pay to the country. This move comes as mobile phone payments gain popularity, and tech giants like Apple are actively pursuing opportunities in the financial services industry.


Discussion with HDFC Bank and Regulatory Bodies:


Apple's discussions with HDFC Bank, one of India's leading banks, revolve around the idea of launching the Apple Card as a co-branded credit card. However, the talks are still in the early stages, and no final decisions have been made. Apple has also engaged with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to ensure compliance with co-branded credit card regulations. The RBI has requested Apple to follow the standard procedure, without offering any special considerations for the company.


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Potential Challenges in the Indian Market:


The Indian market poses unique challenges for Apple's entry with the Apple Card. Currently, Apple does not accept card payments in India due to regulations that require the use of the national Unified Payments Interface (UPI). This necessitates finding a solution that aligns with local regulations and preferences. The existing co-branded credit card regulations in India also require certain design and functionality considerations that differ from Apple Card's offerings in the United States.


Importance of India as a Market:


Apple's focus on India is evident from its recent actions, including the opening of retail stores and the shift of iPhone 14 assembly to the country. With India being the world's second-largest smartphone market, Apple recognizes the significance of establishing a strong presence in the country. Despite not accepting card payments, Apple's sales in India reached nearly $6 billion in the year through March, reflecting the growing demand for its products.


Unique Features and Benefits of the Apple Card:


The Apple Card, which seamlessly integrates with Apple Pay, offers a range of attractive features and benefits. In the United States, users receive cashback rewards deposited directly into their Apple Wallet, with an annual interest rate of 4.15 percent. The card also stands out with its premium titanium construction and absence of annual fees. Apple has the potential to collaborate with other premium brands in India to offer additional cashback or reward points for purchases made through these partners.


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