While Tim Cook had confirmed that the Apple Pay will be alive and kicking in Europe before the end of this year, some new developments suggest that the launch could take place as early as in the summer.
Belgium’s KBC Bank recently tweeted that support for the Apple Pay will be available this summer, before deleting the tweet. Given that Apple's World Wide Developer Conference is slated for June, a possible European launch for the Apple Pay sounds more genuine.
Even though the Apple Pay has received widespread support from banks and retailers alike in the United States, several banks in the UK have been somewhat apprehensive owing to the delayed rollout and regulatory issues related to mobile payments.
However, it is believed that Apple has met all the necessary requirements and does not retain any personal or financial information of customers. Business Insider UK had stated back in December that Bankers [in the UK] are falling all over themselves to get involved with Apple Pay."
So, in effect, with all security concerns being addressed and both Apple and UK Banks willing to join hands with each other, the Apple Pay launch seems to be a mere formality. The question is just 'when' and not 'how.'