As noted by local blog Macerkopf, Apple no longer accepts payment by money transfer, or Überweisung, through its German online store, meaning customers must pay via credit card, PayPal/ELV or installment based financing.
Prior to the change, customers who elected to use the money transfer option had to route bank transfers through Apple partner WorldPay Customer Payments. According to the report, wire transfers could potentially lead to shipping delays, as Apple would send out orders only after receiving payment.
An Apple support document, which is still live on the company's website as of this writing, says processing of payments might in some cases take up to five days to post. Translated to real world shipments, prepayments could in some cases delay fulfillment by weeks, the report said.
Why Apple chose to abandon the prepayment option in Germany is unclear.
The retail change comes amidst a wider push to introduce Apple Pay to a growing international audience. Though not yet available in Germany, evidence suggests Apple is preparing to launch the fledgling service there in the near future. In October, for example, the company posted an Apple Pay support page to its regional German website, suggesting a future debut is in the offing.