Earlier this year, Apple finally released its mobile payment solution in South Korea, rivaling Samsung on its home turf. And now, Apple is reportedly working on bringing the fight to Samsung in India.
Apple appears to be in talks with Indian officials and authorities to bring the Pay service to the South Asian country. In recent weeks, CEO Tim Cook held meetings with bankers and supposedly laid the groundwork to release Apple Pay in India atop NPCI's UPI platform.
The US tech giant will soon enter talks with NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India). Anonymous sources say Apple intends to bring its Pay platform to India in a way that will allow users to scan QR codes and perform UPI transactions without needing any payment system provider (PSP) apps.
Another person familiar with the matter (via TechCrunch) said Apple Pay will offer the option to use Face ID for UPI transactions.
Samsung Pay has a significant head-start
You may be aware that Samsung Wallet went live in India earlier this year. But before Wallet's debut, Samsung Pay (which later became Wallet) has offered mobile payments for customers in India since 2017. Needless to say, Samsung has a head-start over Apple of more than half a decade, but whether or not that will matter in the long run remains to be seen.
Samsung Pay became slightly less useful to some customers in India back in 2021 when the platform dropped MST (Magnetic Secure Transaction) support. However, Apple Pay doesn't support MST either and never did.
Whether Apple will surpass Samsung in popularity with its payment platform is to be determined. As yet, there's no information as to when Apple Pay might be released in India, but reports say that Apple Pay's debut in the country is “a few quarters away.” The tech giant will also have to compete with Google Pay, which is among India's more widespread mobile payment services.