Despite low buying power, India with its population of 1.32 billion people represents a massive marketing opportunity for the increasingly popular smartphone payment services. Small wonder that the Cupertino company now appears to be preparing to bring its own mobile payments service to its customers in India, said a new report.

Apple Pay currently works in sixteen major markets.

According to a BusinessStandard article, the iPhone maker has submitted at least five applications with the Indian Patent office over the past year, all related to its digital payments system. The patent applications range from using biometrics to authenticate payments to securely transferring payment to a device such as a point of sale device.

While Indian law clearly states that software is intrinsically not patentable, exceptions exist for devices with software. If Apple’s patents are granted, Apple Pay could hurt homegrown digital payments firms such as Paytm, Mobikwik, Freecharge and several others.

Samsung Pay launched in India in March 2017, while Google plans to bring Android Pay there later this year by anchoring the service to the government-backed Unified Payments Interface.

Last week, Facebook made a patent application of its own with the Indian Patent office. It outlines a digital wallet service that would presumably be integrated into its popular Messenger and WhatsApp messaging services.

Apple has been doubling down on the Services category as a way to boost sales of iPhones in India and elsewhere. Recently, the firm began assembling iPhone SE in Bangalore, in a facility run by its supplier Wistron, marking the first time the cupertino company has assembled any iPhone model in the country.

  • Aman kapoor

    About Damn Time.
    but as an Indian must say. it’ll be really hard for them to take over Paytm or mobikwik. not everyone here has credit cards. as far as I know. Apple Pay doesn’t support debit cards. most cad transactions require an OPT that is sent to the user via SMS. I don’t think apple will be able to fix that
    if they can manage to introduce Apple Pay and get rid of the OTP issue with debit cards, then that’ll be great

    • Agneev

      Apple Pay does support debit cards. About the OTP thing, yes that’s not secure and a pain in the a*s.

    • Abhinav Chaudhary

      I use debit card on my apple account.

    • Srujan Mishra

      Apple Pay does support debit cards. About OTP, Apple can partner with major banks and completely bypass the OTP method for direct payment thru POS. It’s just like swiping your payment card – you don’t need an OTP to process a swipe transaction. In any case, your fingerprint authentication is more secure than OTP authentication. I’ve never been a fan of OTP authentication anyways.

  • Agneev

    I swear to God, this post made my day. I love you Apple and you too, Tim!

  • Abhijeet Gupta

    Thank you . Much needed.

  • Luiz Claudio Eudes Corrêa

    I’m still waiting for Apple Pay launch in Brazil, any information or rumor about it?

    We already have (in a very limited way) Samsung Pay and will have Google Pay until the end for this year.

    90% os Points of Sales here already support NFC payment, but almost no card have this here and Samsung Pay is very limited on what card it supports.

    • Leopoldo Pereira

      Nothing! Since patience is a virtue, we, brazilians, can only hope for the best. Who knows at the end of this year. Fingers crossed!

      • Luiz Claudio Eudes Corrêa

        I’m waiting since 2015 when started to have some rumors about it, I miss the “good old times” when Boon worked here.

  • Ayo DocMkize

    We have been for Apple Pay to launch in South Africa for a about two years now.

    Android Pay is working now with one of the 4 big banks.