Apple switches from card payments to UPI, net banking for subscriptions, store payments as RBI rules close in

US-based tech firm Apple also said it will no longer store card information of Indian users on its file.

Apple, card payments
Apple says decided to stop storing customer card information for Indian customers. (File: Reuters)

Apple has stopped accepting payments through debit and credit cards from customers in India, in favour of UPI and net banking, ahead of implementation of Reserve Bank of India rules, the company said. “In light of upcoming Reserve Bank of India regulations, starting June 1, credit and debit cards can no longer be used for purchases or subscriptions on the App store or other Apple services,” the US-based company said in an email to Apple users Thursday. Apple also said it will no longer store card information of Indian users on its file.

Apple users can now use options such as Net Banking or UPI to make payments going forward. They can also recharge their Apple ID balance to make payments, the company said. “Regulatory requirements in India apply to the processing of recurring transactions. If you hold an Indian debit or credit card and you have a subscription, these changes impact your transactions. Some transactions might be declined by banks and card issuers,” Apple said on its support page Wednesday. The new rules are for customers using various subscription services such as Apple Music, Apple TV +, Apple iCould+ or are users who are third-party subscribers.

Initially announced in 2020, RBI issued rules for merchants, such as e-commerce companies or subscription platforms, for auto-deduction of payments. The banking regulator said merchants will not be able to store card information of users and replace it with a card tokenization method. Merchants could replace each debit or credit card number with a randomized token number that they provide users to allow recurring payments. After requests from the industry for extending the time to implement new rules, RBI postponed implementation of new rules for the second time till June 30, 2022.

Last year, Netflix enabled UPI autopay method on its platform to allow auto payment for the monthly subscription. Tech giant Google also announced changes to automatic payments for users in India and limited auto transactions to Rs 5000 per transaction, adding that the users will also need to set up an e-mandate for their card.

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