Apple Stops Accepting Credit and Debit Card Payment Methods in India

BY Anu Joy

Published 6 May 2022

Apple no longer accepts card payment methods in India. As a result, customers in the country will not be able to use their credit or debit cards to make App Store purchases. Moreover, they will not be able to make card payments for Apple Music and iCloud+. You can blame the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for this disruption, which introduced its new auto-debit rules for recurring transactions.

The iPhone maker’s support page which details the valid payment methods for each country includes the following three modes — Apple ID balance, net banking, and UPI (Unified Payments Interface). Another support page, published on April 18, 2022, shines a light on why credit and debit card payments are no longer accepted.  

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.

To continue enjoying your subscriptions, you can pay with your Apple ID balance. You can add to your Apple ID balance using App Store Codes, Net Banking, and UPI.

Many took to Twitter to air their grievances about the new development. Some talked about the inconvenience of not being able to pay via cards.

The regulatory requirements were laid down by the RBI back in October last year. The auto-debit rules call for merchants such as Apple to establish an e-mandate for customer cards in India. In turn, customers will also require two-factor authentication to set up a fresh e-mandate for recurring payments. What makes this process even more troublesome is that customers will have to approve each transaction that is worth more than ₹5,000 (around $65). Users who already have a card added as a payment method will not be able to proceed with the transaction and the following message will be displayed — “This card type is no longer supported.” It is mandatory for new iPhone or iPad users to create an Apple ID while setting up the device. Additionally, bank details will also have to be provided.

Back in September last year, Apple issued a warning to developers about the RBI directive which will affect recurring transactions via credit cards and debit cards in India. The iPhone maker made the following suggestions to help avoid the issue of declined payments for recurring subscriptions on the App Store:

Promote paying with Apple ID. Users who pay with their Apple ID balance will not be impacted by these requirements at this time. Users can add funds to their Apple ID using most credit and debit cards, Net Banking, RuPay, and UPI.

Provide a billing grace period. Enable Billing Grace Period in App Store Connect so subscribers with declined transactions or other payment issues have time to update their payment information while retaining access to your app’s paid content. There won’t be any interruption to the subscription’s days of paid service or to your revenue if payment is successful within the grace period.

According to Business Standard, Apple will also stop accepting cards issued in India for ad campaign payments. Such credit card purchases will be put on hold from June 1.

Starting 1 June, all campaigns using a credit card issued from a bank in India will be placed on hold. To avoid a lapse in serving ads to your customers, you can use a credit card issued by a bank outside of India. You can update your payment method by going to the billing tab in your account settings.

Apple is not the only firm to forgo credit and debit card payments in India. Google is also affected by the RBI mandate. Many users have complained about issues with recurring payments for Google Play, YouTube, and Google Workspace. While the auto-debit rules appear to have inconvenienced customers, tech firms will hopefully make the payment process more transparent in the future.

[Via Business Standard]