According to a new report, Apple is in discussions with leading banks in India to launch its widely acclaimed Apple Card in the country.
Co-branded Apple Card with HDFC Bank for the Indian market under discussion
According to a report by local finance website Moneycontrol, Apple CEO Tim Cook met with HDFC Bank CEO and MD Sashidhar Jagdishan during his visit to India in April to explore the possibility of bringing the credit card along with Apple Pay to the Indian market.
In India, the issuance of credit cards is limited to banks. Consequently, Apple is said to be considering a co-branded credit card partnership with HDFC Bank, as per sources cited in the report. These sources also revealed that Apple has engaged in talks with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central bank and regulatory body, to discuss the necessary procedures and compliance requirements for launching the Apple Card in the country.
The rationale behind Apple’s potential decision to prioritize India over other markets like Japan or European countries lies in the fact that Apple currently does not accept card payments in India. Instead, most App Store purchases in the country are powered by the national Unified Payments Interface (UPI) due to regulations prohibiting third-party websites from storing credit card details.
In the United States, Apple partnered with Goldman Sachs for the Apple Card, a sleek titanium card with a minimalistic design. However, the co-branded credit card regulations in India might necessitate different considerations. Unlike its U.S. counterpart, the Apple Card in India might have to adhere to specific guidelines, which could impact its physical design and branding.
While the talks between Apple, HDFC Bank, and the RBI are ongoing, it is important to note that a final decision has not yet been reached. The discussions are in the early stages, indicating that the companies involved are evaluating the feasibility and potential benefits of launching the Apple Card in India.
Apple’s interest in the Indian market extends beyond just introducing the Apple Card. The company has recently made significant strides in India, including the opening of its first retail stores in the country. Apple’s sales in India reached an all-time high of nearly $6 billion in the previous fiscal year, experiencing a growth rate of approximately 50%. Additionally, Apple has been actively building its manufacturing supply chain in India, underscoring the country’s importance as a major smartphone market.