Apple halts Apple Pay launch in India over govt hurdles

Apple Pay

Apple Pay is yet to make its debut in India four years after it was introduced to the world. The way things are going, the payments platform may take a while to get to the country, if it ever does at all.

The key issue here is the government’s data localization rule. It requires all companies to store payments data in India. This has posed a huge problem for other firms like WhatsApp, Google, Mastercard, Visa, Amazon, and PayPal. Apple is apparently part of this list now as well.

Why Apple Pay Got Delayed

The Economic Times reports that Apple won’t launch its virtual currency service in India for the time being. Instead, it’s going to wait and watch how the regulatory landscape plays out. This decision comes after it supposedly held discussions with leading banks and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the agency in charge of UPI.

In fact, one source claims Apple Pay was set to arrive in India a few months ago. Another person says there’s no specific timeline for the platform’s launch. The company’s senior vice-president for internet software and services, Eddy Cue, stated last year that it “absolutely” wants to bring the system to the nation.

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It’s not just data localization that posed a problem for Apple though. It seems the brand also ran into technical and design hurdles related to how UPI works. A banker believes it wanted to include fingerprints as a mode of authentication for UPI, but the NPCI said no.

UPI only allows six or four-digit passwords as passwords. Biometric authentications are only permissible when they’re validated by UIDAI, not by devices. This puts Apple in a pickle since its platform is centered on making payments easy with a fingerprint or face scan.

If a person has to enter a password, it’ll make Apple Pay no different from all the other services out there. The government doesn’t look like its budging any time soon, so we probably won’t see virtual payments on iPhones in the immediate future.