Apple is "working rapidly" to expand Apple Pay to additional countries in Asia and Europe, and there's increasing evidence and reports that suggest the service may launch in Italy and Germany in the near future.
Apple recently updated its Apple Pay participating banks and card issuers in Asia-Pacific support document with a new image of Europe that has Italy highlighted. The change isn't visible on the United States or Europe versions of the page, suggesting that it may have been added to the Asia-Pacific page prematurely.
MacRumors discovered a colored version of the image stored on Apple's servers that makes it easier to see Italy highlighted.
Apple's regional Italian website has listed Apple Pay as "coming soon" since March, so it's only a matter of time—WWDC?—before the payments service launches in the country. At launch, Apple Pay will work with Visa and MasterCard in Italy through participating banks UniCredit, Boon, and Carrefour Banca.
Meanwhile, German blog iPhone-Ticker reports that Apple Pay should launch in Germany in the fall or winter. As in some other countries, however, the negotiations between Apple and German banks allegedly continue to be challenging, likely as both sides struggle to reach an agreement over fees and control.
Last October, Germany was similarly highlighted on the Apple Pay availability map, but only for a brief period of time.
Apple Pay launched in the United States in October 2014, and it has since expanded to 14 other countries and regions: Australia, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. There was also a rumor that Belgium could be added this month.