Apple eyes India’s thriving digital payments scene with plans to introduce Apple Pay and Apple Card. Talks with Indian authorities and banks signal the tech giant’s strategic move for expansion.
New Delhi, January 14, 2024 – In a strategic move to tap into India’s booming digital payments landscape, Apple is reportedly in discussions with Indian authorities to introduce Apple Pay in the country. According to sources familiar with the matter, the tech giant is set to engage with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to chart the course for the rollout.
Additionally, talks are underway with banks and regulators for the potential launch of the Apple Card in India. Moneycontrol reports that Apple is planning to collaborate with HDFC Bank for the co-branded card. The move aims to leverage India’s robust digital payments usage and the burgeoning credit card market, presenting a ripe opportunity for growth.
As of May, there were approximately 88 million credit cards in circulation in India, compared to nearly 974 million debit cards, as per data from the Reserve Bank of India. The government’s efforts to boost credit card adoption include the expansion of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to link with credit cards, facilitating indirect credit card payments for merchants.
India stands out globally for its widespread use of digital wallets and real-time payments, providing a promising landscape for Apple Pay’s potential success.
Why Apple Pay Move Makes Sense
- Customer Loyalty and Volume: Apple aims to strengthen customer loyalty and drive transaction volume by introducing both cards and Apple Pay in India.
- Market Opportunity: New regulations expected by the end of next year could open up the payments market in India, allowing Apple to compete with established rivals.
- Strategic Growth: Recognizing India as a key growth market, Apple has increased its production in the country. With only a 5% share in India’s smartphone market, launching Apple Pay and a credit card aligns with Apple’s broader push to expand its operations in the region.
Apple Pay Challenges Ahead in India
While the potential is vast, Apple will face stiff competition from major card issuers such as American Express, Axis Bank, and the State Bank of India. Additionally, homegrown digital payment giants like PhonePe and Paytm currently dominate the Indian market, posing a challenge for Apple to stand out and carve a significant market share.
As Apple sets its sights on India, the coming months will reveal how effectively the tech giant can navigate the competitive landscape and capitalize on the country’s dynamic digital payments ecosystem.