Apple is putting a brake on its plans to introduce UPI-based payments interface in the country. The Silicon Valley giant is not going ahead with its plans to introduce Apple Pay based on Unified Payments Interface despite holding talks with few leading banks and National Payments Corporation of India, which manages the UPI platform.
Apple has shelved plans to launch UPI-based payments platform in India after roll out of similar services from Amazon India and WhatsApp were stalled due to regulatory reasons. “Apple will not launch payments in India yet. They are waiting to see how the regulatory landscape shapes up,” one of the people familiar with the development told Economic Times.
Apple is also said to be worried about the recent policy from Reserve Bank of India which mandates localization of payments data. RBI’s data localization rule mandates that all companies store their payments data within India and the rule has reportedly jeopardized plans from other multinational companies including Mastercard, Visa and Paypal. Google, which has been aggressively expanding its UPI-based payments platform in India, has now decided to assess the situation around data localization.
Apple is also said to have run into technical and design hurdles related to the flow of payments on UPI. Eddy Cue, Senior VP of internet software and services at Apple, had told ET in October that the company plans to launch Apple Pay contactless payment service in India. “It is great that all of these payment mechanisms are coming out in India because it empowers people to be able to pay. What Apple Pay does is make that process easy, integrated and safe. We absolutely want to bring Apple Pay to the market here,” Cue had said.
Apple Pay is currently available in Australia, Canada, Mainland China, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, the US and Taiwan. People familiar with Apple’s plan told the newspaper that the company planned to launch the service a couple of months ago while another person said that the company did not work with a specific timeline.
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Apple reportedly wanted to include fingerprint as a mode of authentication for UPI payments but NPCI did not agree to it. UPI currently requires customers to enter a six or four-digit number to authenticate transactions. Apple has also run into problems with the telecom regulator over supporting its Do-Not-Disturb and helping it port the Android version to iOS.