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Apple to stop storing card information on file for Indian customers

By Subrata Panda
May 20, 2022 13:26 IST
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Technology giant Apple has informed its customers in India that it will no longer store their card information on file and will not be accepting payments made by debit cards and credit cards for purchases or subscriptions on the App store or other Apple services.


Photograph: Stephen Lam/Reuters

The decision has been taken by the US-based company in view of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) card data storage guidelines, which will kick in from July 1.

The deadline for implementing these norms was extended twice.


In an email to customers, Apple has said, “In the light of the upcoming RBI 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.”

Instead, Apple has asked its customers to add their UPI (Unified Payments Interface) Id or use net-banking as alternative payment methods to avoid any interruptions to the subscriptions and other purchases.

Apple customers can also add funds to their Apple Id balance to make payments.

“Your subscriptions will continue as long as you have a sufficient balance.

If you are an Apple Music, TV+, iCloud+ or third-party subscriber and we cannot renew your subscription, your subscription will automatically expire,” the email reads.

An email sent to Apple on the issue did not elicit a response till the time of going to press.

In December last year, the RBI had extended the deadline for adhering to its card storage norms after stakeholders in the ecosystem informed it about their inability to meet the deadline.

Under the RBI guidelines, merchants, payment aggregators, and acquiring banks can no longer store the card details of customers.

Under the new guidelines, only card issuers and card networks will be able to store them.

Merchants and other entities that have stored the card details of customers will have to purge the data and apply tokenisation.

Tokenisation is the replacement of an actual or clear card number with an alternative code called the “token”.

Once created, the tokenised card details will be used in place of an actual card number for online purchases initiated or instructed by the cardholder.

Customers do not have to pay for the service of tokenising their cards.

On March 17, 2020, the banking regulator had said that from June 30, 2021, merchant websites and payment aggregators should not store customer card data.

At the request of merchants and payment aggregators, as well as card companies and banks, this timeline was extended until December 31, 2021, and the deadline was again extended by six months.

Earlier this month, Apple had sent a similar alert to businesses, wherein it had said that starting June 1, all campaigns using a credit card issued from a bank in India would 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,” the Apple notification had said.

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Subrata Panda
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