Apple posts Apple Pay support page on German website, suggests impending launch

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After a bumpy Apple Pay rollout in Japan, Apple this week posted a support an explainer page covering the payments service to its regional German website, suggesting an impending launch in that country.

Though an official Apple Pay launch timeline not yet been announced for the German market, Apple's Support Pages are presaging an upcoming debut. On Monday, the "Using Apple Pay" webpage went live, detailing the ins and outs of making in-store and web-based payments, as well as using rewards cards and reviewing transaction histories.

Judging by imagery supplied alongside brief how-to sections, the contents appears to be lifted directly from the U.S. version of the same page. Specifically, both the German and U.S. pages include identical photos of Apple hardware displaying U.S.-issued Citi Preferred Mastercards and example user information from a placeholder customer living in Oregon.

While the localization process is obviously incomplete, there are hints that the German page did not go live in error. For example, in describing the touchless Apple Pay payments process, the explainer correctly converts imperial measurements to their Euro-friendly metric counterparts.

International "Using Apple Pay" webpages are often hybrids of localized text and images borrowed from original U.S. assets or nearby countries. France's support page includes custom images showing regional credit cards and correctly converted text, while the same link in the UK simply redirects to the U.S. version, for example.

In any case, it appears Apple is actively preparing to launch its fledgling payments service for use by German customers. Last week, reports noted searches for "Apple Pay" on Apple's German website returned multiple mentions of related topics, though most led to inactive pages.

Despite mounting evidence, Apple has yet to announce official plans for release. During the company's quarterly earnings conference call for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016 on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook mentioned only Spain as an upcoming Apple Pay launch market. The rollout was actually promised exactly one year ago during Apple's fourth quarter call for 2015, when Cook said Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong would gain access in 2016. The latter two countries received support in April and July, respectively.

Apple Pay most recently debuted in Japan on Monday with the release of iOS 10.1. Initial uptake appears to be strong — perhaps too strong. Less than one day after launch, Apple's backend services caused problems with the JR East Suica transit card system during Tokyo's high-traffic early morning commute.