Apple isn’t having a happy time of it in India at present, with falling sales and market share, a threatened ban on iPhones, increased import taxes, and legal requirements preventing it opening Apple Stores there.

Things don’t appear to be getting any better, with the latest report saying that a new law has forced the company to put its planned Apple Pay rollout on hold …

It’s almost a year since Eddy Cue promised that Apple Pay would be coming to India. He said then that the company didn’t want to give a launch date until it was 100% certain, and that’s now looking like a very wise decision.

Economic Times cites two sources saying that Apple has now had to put this plan on hold.

Apple put the brakes on introducing Apple Pay in the country despite holding discussions with a few leading banks and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which manages the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The main worry for Apple is the Reserve Bank of India’s recent data localisation rule […] that requires companies to store all their payments data only within India.

But there’s reportedly a more fundamental problem too. Apple Pay is authenticated by either Touch ID or Face ID, and the NCPI won’t accept that.

UPI requires customers to enter a six- or four-digit number to authenticate transactions […] NCPI does not allow biometrics collected by devices as a mode of authentication.

The same issues are causing similar headaches for Google, MasterCard, Visa, Amazon, WhatsApp and PayPal.

After China, India is now the world’s second-largest smartphone market – having overtaken the US last year, making it vital to Apple’s future growth that it can operate successfully there.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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