Japanese Travel with Apple Pay

Digital ASCII writer Kenta Yamaguchi traveled to Osaka, Nagoya, Akita and Okinawa with only Apple Pay in his pocket. His verdict: Japan is getting closer to the government’s stated goal of having an 80% cashless/e-money society by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics…but we’re not quite there yet.

Yamaguchi san found pesky Airport Express Train ticket machines in Nagoya and the Okinawa Urban Monorail that do not accept NFC transactions, as well as temperamental Transaction Media-Networks UT1-Neo NFC readers that I wrote about earlier.

The next step for Japanese Apple Pay is to provide seamless NFC Type A/B support for Japanese loaded credit cards going abroad, as well as Japanese contactless payment system support for inbound NFC A/B customers. If credit card companies and transaction processors cooperating with Apple and Google can accomplish that, cashless society will become reality.

In other news Android Pay v1.12 launched in Japan this week wth support for NFC Felica and Rakuten Edy, just as predicted by Android Police on Friday. It will be interesting to watch the pay system race in Japan between Apple and Google in 2017.