After Amazon and WhatsApp, Apple has put on hold plans of launching a payments platform in India based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), The Economic Times reported on Thursday.
The Silicon Valley giant’s plans to introduce Apple Pay in India stalled after it had talks with some leading banks, and the National Payments Corporation of India which manages the UPI platform, the report said, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.
According to the sources, the iPhone maker was concerned about the Reserve Bank of India’s recent data localisation rule, while the company also ran into technical and design hurdles related to the flow of UPI payments, the report said. “Apple will not launch payments in India yet. They are waiting to see how the regulatory landscape shapes up,” the financial daily quoted one of the sources as saying.
The central bank’s data localisation rule mandates companies to store all their payments data within India. This has made plans of multinationals—including Google, PayPal, and Visa—uncertain, the report said.
The Economic Times report quoted a banker as saying that Apple wanted to include fingerprint as a mode of authentication for UPI payments, which NPCI did not agree to. For UPI-based payments, a customer needs to enter a four- or six-digit number to authenticate transactions. NPCI guidelines say that biometric authentication has to be validated by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which issues Aadhaar numbers.
Apple Pay is currently available in Australia, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, the US, and Taiwan.