Eddy Cue, the senior vice president of Apple’s internet software and services, visited India last weekend. He said to the Economic Times that the company “absolutely wants to bring Apple Pay to market here.”
Apple has been focusing on India recently, coming up with a price reduction of older phones. Not only that, the company wants to open a handset assembling facility in the country as well, bringing faster launches for the locales. The latest plan of rolling out Apple Pay among them is enticing news for the India-based fans of the brand.
Furthermore, India seems better prepared than before to endorse the digital payment system. While credit card usage is more popular in the country, Apple Pay may work with debit cards, digital wallets, and UPI (the nationwide Unified Payments Interface). The usage of UPI for this initiative will support more users, as this interface connects financial transactions directly with bank accounts.
Scenarios Apple needs to consider
Now, as per scenarios, Android has a market share in India of about 97%. This leaves iOS with little chance to reach the users, raising questions about the fact if anyone would want to go for the payments system.
Along with this possible shortcoming, Apple will further have to face the merchants for acceptance of Apple Pay. It would help only if the payments service becomes effective for NFC-based payments and online purchases.
For this to process well in favor of Apple, the likes of Amazon India and Flipkart might be easy to bring on board as supporters. But, covering the wide landscape of the nation through retail outlets needs a stronger presence.
Indian independent sellers are yet to achieve organizing aspects in adopting modern payment systems. This again needs Apple to heavily invest in establishing a large network of stores, so that its payment mechanism is well supported.
On a similar note, Samsung Pay (launched in the country in March) has the exclusive hardware for supporting payments via a maximum number of card-swiping devices. But, Apple Pay is compatible with only NFC-equipped payment terminals.
Summary for Apple Pay in India
Considering these points, Apple Pay may not be expected to become widely available very soon. But Cue’s words that include ‘long-term stay’ are to bring hopes to the fans – “We are here for the long term to make sure that when we are building new products or enhancing existing products, we are thinking of India.”