iPhone maker Apple has stopped accepting credit and debit card payments for subscriptions and app purchases using Apple ID in India. This means Apple device users with subscriptions running on their iPhones or iPads will need to update their payment methods for recurring payments to continue.
While Apple initiated these changes to its payment methods last month, they are still rolling out to consumers across the country. At the heart of Apple’s changes are two guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India – one on direct debit mandates and two on card tokenization.
The auto-debit guidelines, which came into effect on October 1, 2021, meant that all instructions for recurring online payments made by credit or debit card would have to be validated by the user, with existing standing instructions affected. .
Separately, in another move that will come into effect on July 1, any company storing users’ card details on their websites or apps will have to purge those details. An estimated 5 million customers, who have stored their card details for online transactions on various platforms, could be affected if online players and merchants are unable to implement the changes on their backend.
In an update on its support page on April 18 this year, Apple said, “Regulatory requirements in India apply to the processing of recurring transactions. If you have an Indian debit or credit card and have a subscription, these changes impact your transactions. Some transactions may be declined by banks and card issuers.
“To continue enjoying your subscriptions, you can pay with your Apple ID balance. You can add to your Apple ID balance using App Store, Net Banking and UPI codes,” he added. Apple did not respond to emails seeking comment on this story. According to data from Counterpoint, Apple iPhones accounted for 3.3% market share in smartphone shipments during the January-March quarter.
Industry sources said that in the smartphone operating system segment, Apple’s iOS only holds less than 5% market share, while Google’s Android takes the lion’s share. Other apps and websites that accept recurring payments such as OTT platforms such as Netflix, Hotstar, etc. had started in September to migrate their users from recurring card payments to UPI-based recurring payments or online banking.
On September 29, Apple had also informed its developers that the RBI guidelines on direct debit mandates that “will affect purchases in India initiated via credit cards and debit cards for auto-renewable subscriptions.”
For developers offering auto-renewing subscriptions on their apps, Apple suggested promoting payments using the Apple ID wallet. For users facing issues auto-renewing subscriptions on their Indian credit and debit cards, Apple suggests adding a balance to their Apple ID wallets, which will enable recurring payments.
Apple ID wallets can be loaded with most credit and debit cards, Net Banking, RuPay and UPI. Recently, Apple again informed its developers of the RBI guidelines and said that they would not be able to use their cards to make payments for some of the recurring ad campaigns they run on the App Store.
In an email to developers, Apple noted, “Due to Reserve Bank of India regulations, Apple Search Ads will soon no longer accept payment from credit cards issued by banks in India.” “From June 1, all campaigns using a bank-issued credit card in India will be put on hold.”