“We are also looking at things like bringing Apple Pay. I met one of the key banks and tried to understand how their view of mobile payments would play out,” he said. Cook had met ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar in Mumbai earlier this week.
Asked if they were looking at operator billing to make paid services more feasible, he said: “In India, that is something we are looking at. Operator billing is something, we don’t need in the US. But in India it is something the customer would want and help us move faster.”
He said that while Apple Pay was there, “it is important we move faster on scaling on the ability to pay in a manner that is wanted and desired by the customer.”
Indians traditionally don’t pay for mobile services, primarily because the credit card penetration is so low. Compared to Android, iOS has a larger percentage of users who pay for apps and services, given that it caters to a top-end demographic. There has been some improvement in the scenario thanks to mobile wallet services, but operator billing is viewed as the way forward for India.
Earlier this month, Google and Idea announced a move to start operator billing for Google Play services.