Apple Card, the credit card introduced by Apple in the United States four years ago, may finally be making its international debut, with India being the potential first stop in its global expansion. Although Apple Card was initially exclusive to the US market upon its launch in 2019, CEO Tim Cook expressed the company’s intention to introduce the card to other countries, stating in an interview with a German newspaper, “We want to offer the cards everywhere.”
However, Apple Card’s expansion has been delayed, potentially due to the financial implications and complexities associated with its establishment. Apple’s partner, Goldman Sachs, reported a substantial loss of $1.2 billion in 2022, primarily attributing it to the joint venture with Apple.
Multiple sources now claim that Apple is actively engaged in discussions with banks in India regarding the introduction of Apple Card in the country. During Tim Cook‘s visit to India to support the launch of Apple’s first two physical stores, it is reported that he held discussions with government officials, HDFC Bank, and the Reserve Bank of India, all related to the prospects of Apple Card in the Indian market.
According to The Federal, the Indian government has informed Apple that it will not receive any special considerations. Instead, the tech giant will be required to adhere to the regular procedures outlined for co-branded credit cards in the country.
Citing two unnamed sources, The Federal indicates that Apple is currently in preliminary talks with HDFC Bank, one of India’s leading financial institutions, regarding the potential release of the Apple Card. However, a final decision regarding the launch has not yet been made.
The Federal suggests that one of the reasons Apple may prioritize India for the introduction of the Apple Card over other countries is the existing regulatory landscape in India. In particular, as of May 2022, banking regulations in India prohibited Apple from accepting card payments. As a result, Indian users were left with limited options, such as making payments through UPI Autopay or by adding funds to their Apple Account balance.
Expanding into the Indian market with Apple Card would be a significant move for Apple, as India represents a massive and untapped consumer base. With a population of over 1.3 billion people and a rapidly growing economy, India presents a lucrative opportunity for Apple to expand its financial services and deepen its presence in the country.
However, it is important to note that while discussions are ongoing and there seems to be potential for Apple Card to launch in India, no official confirmation has been provided by Apple or any of its partners. As with any international expansion, Apple will need to navigate various regulatory and operational challenges before making Apple Card available to Indian consumers.