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Apple has been lately focusing on its expanding its financial services to countries other than the U.S.A and U.K. Now, the Cupertino-based company is looking forward to bringing its Apple Card to India in partnership with HDFC bank.
As reported by MoneyControl, an Indian publication, Apple CEO Tim Cook met with HDFC Bank CEO and MD Sashidhar Jagdishan when he visited India in April for the inauguration of Apple’s first store in the country.
Apple Pay coming to India?
The publication reports that Apple is also currently in talks with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for launching Apple Pay in India.
It is yet not clear whether Apple is having these discussions for launching Apple Card under NPCi’s Rupay platform or for linking Apple Pay with Unified Payment Interface (UPI), which is an Indian-made mechanism for seamless money transfer by scanning QR codes.
If Apple brings a Rupay-based Apple Card in India, it can be linked to UPI and users can make transactions directly from the card as only Rupay cards can be linked to UPI as of now.
Only banks are allowed to launch credit cards in India. Therefore, Apple will have to collaborate with a banking entity. If MoneyControl’s report is to be believed, Apple has chosen HDFC Bank for the same.
In the U.S., Apple partnered with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard for offering Apple Card. Users are offered attractive offers including 3% cash back on Apple Stores and select merchants, and interest free monthly installments when buying an Apple product using Apple Card.
According to MoneyControl, Apple is also in talks with the Reserve Bank of India for discussing the modalities of the card. As per one source, the government authorities have asked Apple to follow the regular procedure where companies partner with a bank to offer co-branded cards to users. RBI is in no mood to offer any special facility to Apple, per MoneyControl.
The discussions between Apple and regulatory authorities of India are currently in an initial stage and it is not confirmed when Apple will bring Apple Card and Apple Pay to India as of now.
“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,” said one of the sources.Why Apple is choosing India over Europe?
India is currently the biggest focus market for Apple due to the growing demand for smartphones and the willingness of users to buy premium smartphones. Currently, Apple holds a 4% market share in the Indian smartphone market and with the boom of UPI, Apple is lacking behind in the financial market in India.
According to one source, “Apple is cagey about several of these directions. Hence the company decided to stop card payments in India temporarily. It makes sense for the company to explore launching its own credit card before it restarts card payments in India thus preempting other credit cards being used on the platform”.
Suraj is an operations head on the iGB team. He contributes to the social media section along with tips and tricks for iPhone, Apple Watch. Apart from blogging, he likes to work out as much as he can in his gym and love to listening to retro music.
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