Currently, India is one of the costliest countries to buy an iPhone, and that’s mainly due to the government’s aggressive Make In India campaign, which led to increasing import duties. But today, we aren’t discussing the iPhone price or sales in India; rather we are going to talk about the most promising feature, Apple Pay. Even after spending such a huge amount many users are wondering Why Apple Pay is not available in India?
After analyzing the different factors like legal, consumer psychology, market share, pricing, and many other things, we concluded the following reason might be the root cause of why Apple Pay hasn’t debuted in India.
Why Apple Pay is not available in India: 5 Possible Reasons
#1. Lack of Market Share
The first and foremost reason we assume is the market share. Apple has merely a percent of smartphone market share in India. With that low number, Apple Pay may be used only by a handful of people in the country. For a company like Apple, this may not be the sound financial decision to make when they don’t see good numbers.
#2. Merchant adoption and Banking support
Let’s assume Apple launches Apple Pay in India even with low demand. To cater to the weak demand, Apple needs merchants to accept Apple Pay as a payment method, and banks need to process those payments. The current Apple Pay infrastructure works on Face ID and Touch ID, while Indian banks require a user to enter a confirmation PIN to authorize the transaction.
Indian Banks will not accept biometrics as authorization, and this may put Apple Pay on hold. Besides that, banks and merchants also seek volume to accept Apple Pay as a payment method.
#3. Regulatory challenges
Indian regulation requires all payment processing companies to maintain all the data in India. To do that, Apple needs to set up a storage facility in the country or associated with a local partner. Both of the things take time and investment.
Besides that, NCPI (National Payments Corporation of India) does not accept biometrics as authorization. Unless it comes from the government recognized body, such as UIDAI. As fingerprint on iPhone is stored on the device, it is not accepted as an authorization.
These two legal hurdles have let Apple Pay stay at bay in India.
#4. Tough competition
India already has online wallet providers like PayTM, Google’s Tez, BHIM UPI app by the government, Amazon Pay, and many others. Given the variety of options available, getting a chunk of this market seems to be impossible for Apple Pay. Also, it is an exclusive iOS feature, while other apps can be used on iPhone as well as on any other smartphone.
Users don’t frequently change their payment mode, especially when they are happy with what they are using.
#5. Cost factors for merchant
While Indian merchants are already equipped with NFC Point of Sale machines, most of them still use the traditional swiping machines. Getting them on-board to use NFC-enabled devices is a real challenge. As these machines come with a cost and Indian merchants don’t really see a need to upgrade as their machines are entertaining the needs of their consumers.
Apple can surely get on board prominent merchants like Flipkart and Amazon, but getting on the ground level, Apple still has a long way to go.
Apart from Apple Pay, the company hasn’t made Apple News too available in India. It is strange to see because News hardly has any regulatory challenges or any other technical challenges. Maybe it will take some time to know what exactly Apple plans for India.
What do you think, why is Apple Pay not available in India? Apart from the reasons above, do you have anything else to contribute? Do share it in comments below.