You can no longer pay for Apple services in India using a credit or debit card

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News Developer relations is getting more complex Blame the new RBI regulations for this move from Apple
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple has sent out emails to its customers in India informing them that it won’t be accepting credit and debit cards for payments on the App Store and other Apple services starting June 1, 2022.

The announcement comes ahead of the new regulations from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) going live.

New RBI regulations prevent companies from storing customers’ card details

In March 2020, India’s central bank and regulatory body announced new rules that prevent payment aggregators and gateways from storing customers’ credit/debit card details. Instead, they must be replaced with a card tokenization method.

The new regulations are also applicable for recurring payments and require additional verification for transactions above Rs. 5,000. The rules have even forced Netflix and Google to make changes to how they process payments from Indian customers.

Below is what Apple says in its email to its customers in India:

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. Apple will no longer store card information on file — protecting your payment method is our top priority.

Apple is the first major company in the country to completely stop supporting credit/debit card transactions for its services. Other tech giants have been trying to adhere to the regulation and have also started alternative payment methods for customers.

The Cupertino company’s move is surprising as it is slowly becoming a significant player in India’s premium smartphone market. It recently even started assembling the iPhone 13 in the country.

Load funds to your Apple ID to pay for Apple services

The change means that starting next month, Apple customers in India will first have to load funds to their Apple ID using net banking or UPI and then pay for their transactions on the App Store or other Apple services like iCloud storage, Apple Music, etc. In any case, you can’t directly pay for the transaction — you must first load funds to your Apple ID.

The change will also affect how you pay for your ongoing Apple subscriptions, so if you don’t want them to be disrupted, make sure to load funds to your account.

Do note that you can continue using your credit/debit card to pay for purchases done on Apple’s online store.

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