(This page is not being updated, up to date Apple Pay Japan information here)
As expected (here and here), Apple announced Apple Pay support for Japan with iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2. The Apple Japan site has a dedicated page with details. In addition to the previously reported Suica support, Apple also lists Docomo ID and JCB/Aeon QUICPay and many other major Japanese credit cards, but no VISA.
The Apple page shows some nice features such as charging the Suica debit card on the go saving customers a visit to the nearest station ticket machine. If this means the ability to link the Suica transit/debit card to the default Apple Pay credit card such as Dcomo ID, it will be a major Apple-like convenience that ‘just works’.
Apple Pay in Japan will be supported on older iPhone 6S, 6, SE models, and iPad Pro for in-app shopping and Safari purchases. Wallet support for gift cards is hinted at but details are sketchy. Finally, an unnamed coffee shop that looks just like Starbucks is prominently featured on the Apple site as well. I guess Starbucks passed on giving Apple free Apple Pay marketing as there isn’t anything in it for them. Any Starbucks with a Suica/FeliCa touch terminal is good to go on iPhone 7 Apple Pay launch day in October. iOS 10.1 perhaps?
Phil Schiller mentioning FeliCa by name in the keynote before the A10 Fusion Chip section was interesting and good marketing. Names like Apple Pay and NFC Type F do not have traction with Japanese customers, but mobile FeliCa has been heavily marketed since 2004 and is well known. The keynote mention guarantees a lot of free Japanese press coverage for iPhone 7 and interest from Japanese customers. Judging from the Japanese twitter activity this morning, it’s already working.
Last but not least, the October Apple Pay Japan launch day that Schiller mentioned is the launch day for Japanese public transit in Apple Maps as well.
Update 1: added Suica details.
Update 2: added Apple Pay release details.