Apple stops debit, credit card payments for app purchases in India, blames ‘regulatory requirements’

Several Apple users have complained about the removal of the debit card and credit card options from the payment methods for purchases using Apple ID.

apple payments option
The regulatory requirements limit Apple from receiving recurring card payments from users in India. (Financial Express/Subham Mitra)

Apple is no longer accepting card payments for app purchases and subscriptions using Apple ID in India, resulting from the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) new auto-debit rules that came into effect last year. The new rules have already disrupted recurring online transactions.

As it stands, users are no longer able to use their Indian debit or credit cards to purchase apps from the App Store, buy Apple subscriptions such as Apple Music and iCloud+, or buy media content from Apple.

Several Apple users have complained about the removal of the debit card and credit card options from the payment methods for purchases using Apple ID. The users, who have already added a card to their account as a payment method are also unable to make fresh payments through their Apple ID. Users complained that the payments page is showing an error: “This card type is no longer supported.”

Apple’s support page, which lists the available payment options for each country, shows UPI, netbanking, and Apple ID balance as the only three options to receive payments in India. The change took place on April 18, according to another support page.

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“Regulatory requirements in India apply to the processing of recurring transactions,” Apple said in an update on the support page.

“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.”

The regulatory requirements — the RBI’s new auto-debit rules implemented in October — limit Apple from receiving recurring card payments from users in India. The change has also prompted the Cupertino-based tech giant to accept UPI and netbanking transactions — two features it introduced last year for Indian users.

The RBI’s new rules require merchants such as Apple to set up an e-mandate for cards. Customers need to use two-factor authentication, while also setting up a fresh e-mandate for recurring payments. The rules require customers to give consent each time they make a subsequent payment above Rs 5,000.

Apple is not the only company shifting its payments mechanism. Google has also been impacted by the new RBI mandate. Several users are now facing difficulties in making recurring payments via cards on YouTube and Google Play. Last year, Netflix introduced UPI AutoPay support for recurring payments to avoid issues due to the mew auto-debit rules.

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The National Payments Corporation of India in 2020 introduced the UPI AutoPay feature to enable auto-debit for recurring payments. 

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