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Apple Card may launch next in India

Four years after it was launched in the US, Apple Card may finally be expanding internationally, starting with India.

Even as Apple Card was first launched as a US exclusive in 2019, CEO Tim Cook said that it would expand to other countries. "We want to offer the cards everywhere," he told a German newspaper.

Apple Card has yet to expand at all, possibly because of the cost and complexity of setting it up. Apple Card partner Goldman Sachs reported a $1.2 billion loss for 2022, and ascribed most of it to the joint venture with Apple.

Now multiple sources including Engadget, and The Federal, are claiming that Apple is in discussions about Apple Card with banks in India. Reportedly, during Cook's visit to support the launch of Apple's first two stores in India, he spoke with government officials, plus HDFC Bank, and the Reserve Bank of India.

According to local business publication The Federal, India's government has told Apple it will not be granted any special considerations. It must instead follow the country's regular procedures for what are called co-branded credit cards.

Two unspecified sources told The Federal that Apple is in the early stages of talks to release Apple Card with India's HDFC Bank. However, a decision over whether to launch has not yet been taken.

The Federal suggests that one reason Apple might launch Apple Card in India before any other countries outside the US, is because of current Indian regulations. Specifically, as of May 2022, banking laws mean Apple was no longer able to accept card payments.

Instead, users in India must pay for services or App Store apps via UPI Autopay, or from topping up an Apple Account balance.