Apple Pay opens for business in Italy with support from three banks

Apple has officially launched its mobile payments service in Italy, a 61 million people country and the third-largest national economy in the Eurozone. Apple Pay launched in the country with initial support for Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards issued by Carrefour and UniCredit, as well as Boon prepay.

Boon is a European prepaid service and app that lets users conduct transactions at all point of sale terminals that accept MasterCard contactless payments. Boon customers are currently allowed to register prepaid MasterCard cards with Apple Pay.

According to Apple's website, support for additional banks will be added later this year.

Some of the official partners listed on Apple's website included merchants and companies such as Auchan, Autogrill, Eataly, LaGardenia, H&M, Leroy Merlin, Limoni, OVS, Simply Market, Unieuro and more.

After registering their card with Apple Pay by tapping Add Credit or Debit Card in the Wallet app on any iOS device with iOS 8.1 or later, Visa and MasterCard holders can start using the service to pay for their purchases in stores, within apps and on supported websites via their iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Touch ID-enabled Mac.

The service could soon launch in Belgium and South Korea, circumstantial evidence suggests.

Last month, Apple Pay launched in Taiwan.

Apple's mobile payments service is currently available in these 16 markets:

Australia Canada China France Hong Kong Ireland Italy Japan New Zealand Russia Singapore Spain Switzerland Taiwan United Kingdom United States

Visit the iOS Feature Availability webpage for the full, continually updated list of countries, banks, credit unions and other financial institutions that currently support Apple Pay.

In related news, Apple Pay in the US added support for more than two dozen new financial institutions earlier today. Additionally, Liaoning Rural Credit Cooperatives in Mainland China now supports Apple Pay, too.

According to Recode, the Cupertino giant is secretly developing a peer-to-peer service for transferring cash digitally between friends, plus virtual prepaid cards that would run on Visa’s debit network and work with Apple Pay.

Apple’s upcoming Piazza Liberty store in Milan to feature waterfall entrance

Apple on Monday showed off its upcoming Italian retail store. Located at Piazza del Liberty in Milan, the forthcoming brick-and-mortar outlet will feature Apple's next-generation retail design, with the sales floor sitting beneath the cozy outdoor amphitheater and accessible by walking down the staircase situated between the middle of a pair of waterfalls that form part of a larger fountain.

The fountain itself is a tribute to the Italian squares, representing the close link between the city of Milan and its natives.

Developed in partnership with architecture firm Foster and Partners, known for its work on the Apple Park headquarters, the upcoming Apple Piazza Liberty outlet will be an open space for all to “have a break, be with friends, and discover new interests.”

“We are incredibly happy to be in the center of Milan, a city that for centuries has combined creativity and innovation,” reads the machine-translated text on Apple's Italian website.

There will also be an elevator available.

Last month, Apple announced that all-new “Today at Apple” educational sessions will be coming to its 495 retail outlets in the United States and around the world.

The Milan store will feature “Today at Apple” sessions at launch, from the children's programs to business sessions. The opening date has not yet been announced.

Apple Pay launches in Ireland, coming to Italy and Taiwan soon

Apple Pay has officially expanded to Ireland today for customers of KBC and Ulster Bank, two of the country's big four banking institutions. The service also works with EU's Boon prepay system tied to MasterCard. Irish customers who register their Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards via the Wallet app can start using the service to pay securely for goods in “tens of thousands” of stores, including Aldi, Boots, Burger King, Harvey Norman and Lidl.

Apple Pay is also supported in compatible apps and on some websites. The Cupertino company has added related Apple Pay details to its regional website in Italy, signaling an imminent launch in the 60 million people market. Also, major banks have recently gained regulatory approval to launch Apple's payments service in Taiwan.

iTunes carrier billing now available in Italy, Singapore and Austria

Customers in Italy, Singapore and Austria who lack a credit or debit card can now take advantage of carrier billing on iTunes to have app and media purchases made on Apple's content stores (including Apple Music subscriptions) billed directly to a monthly mobile phone bill from their carrier.

As per Apple, carrier billing's been enabled for select carriers—in Austria for Drei customers, Italy for Three customers and Singapore for M1 Limited users.

Apple’s school for app developers has opened its doors to students in Naples, Italy

Apple’s European iOS App Development Center at the University of Naples has opened its doors to students on Thursday. British newspaper The Guardian visited Apple's school for programmers in the days leading up to the launch, showing off the facility in a batch of photos. The project was formally announced in January 2016. Specialized curriculum gives students practical skills and training on developing iPhone, iPod touch and iPad apps.

Apple’s European iOS App Development Center opening at University of Naples in October

We learned in January that Apple would be opening its first European iOS App Development Center in Italy and now German website notes that the Università di Napoli Federico II in Naples has officially confirmed partnering with Apple on the initiative.

Beginning in October 2016, the upcoming iOS App Development Center will let Naples university students take part in a nine month curriculum which was designed by Apple itself.

“Trade Up with Installments” iPhone program expands to France, Italy and Spain

MacRumors is reporting that Apple's trade-up program for the iPhone, dubbed “Trade Up with Installments”, has expanded to an additional three countries today: France, Italy and Spain.

Customers in these countries can now trade in a used iPhone, Android or Windows Phone smartphone and put the value of that device towards a new iPhone based on a 24-month payment plan.

Apple opening iOS App Development Center in Italy

Apple on Thursday announced it is opening Europe's first iOS App Development Center in Italy. Located at a partner institution in Naples, it will support teachers and provide a specialized curriculum to give students practical skills and training on developing iPhone, iPod touch and iPad apps. This new program should expand to other countries around the world.

Across Europe, iOS developers have earned over €10.2 billion thus far, or about $11.11 billion, with the App Store having helped create more than 75,000 new jobs in Italy alone.

iPhone 6s in-store reservations open in Italy, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland & Netherlands

As Apple gears up to launch the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in an additional 40 countries this coming Friday, October 9, in-store reservations for the new handsets have gone live through Apple's Reserve and Pickup program in Belgium, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands, MacRumors reported this morning.

These six European countries are part of Apple's second wave of iPhone 6s launch. Apple has said that the new iPhones will be available in a total of over 130 countries by the end of the year.