Move Suica and other transit or e-Money cards to new iPhone

Apple Pay transit cards (Suica and PASMO) and e-Money cards (WAON and nanaco) are different from Apple Pay payment cards in that a transit or e-Money card prepaid stored value, the card balance, is stored locally on the device and can only exist on a single device, i.e. the truth is in the card not the cloud. Apple Pay credit/debit cards coexist simultaneously on multiple devices, not Suica, PASMO and other transit cards like Octopus, Clipper, SmarTrip, TAP, or e-Money cards like nanaco and WAON.

The Suica Two Step
Quick Start device to device data transfer is the best way to setup a new iPhone but it does not automatically transfer transit or e-Money cards from the old iPhone. This has to be done manually. Fortunately, transferring a transit card to a new iPhone is a simple two step done in Wallet without using 3rd party apps like Suica App. The Suica Two Step is shown below, use the same steps with all Apple Pay transit and e-Money cards.

Step 1: Remove Suica from Wallet on the old iPhone
On the old iPhone go to Wallet > tap Suica or other transit card > tap ‘More’ ˚˚˚ in the upper right corner > scroll to the bottom > tap Remove This Card. Don’t worry, this does not delete the card. Apple Pay automatically migrates and safely stores the card on Apple Pay iCloud for you.

  • Step 2: Add card in Wallet
    On the new iPhone make sure you are signed in with the same Apple ID, open Wallet and tap “+”
    Tap Previous Cards > confirm the Suica or transit card you want to add is selected > tap Continue
    The registered card name and balance will be showing in the Add Card screen
    Tap Next to add the card to Wallet or tap Add This Card to Wallet Later to cancel
  • Apple Watch Suica Two Step: Transfer Suica from Apple Watch to iPhone and back again
  • For Apple Watch Suica users upgrading to a new Apple Watch while keeping the same iPhone, simply transfer the card from Apple Watch Wallet to iPhone Wallet with Watch app before unpairing the old Apple Watch. Make sure to move Suica and let it complete activation in iPhone Wallet while the old Apple Watch is still on your wrist: Apple Watch Wallet deactivates and locks after 10 minutes off of your wrist. After the new Apple Watch is paired, transfer Suica back from iPhone to Apple Watch.

The Apple support page Add a transit card to Apple Wallet is updated for iOS 15 and covers the above in Move your transit card between devices > How to move your transit card to a new iPhone sections. Use the same steps for e-Money cards:

What about Suica App and other card apps?

If your Suica, PASMO or e-Money card is registered in the appropriate app, your account and password information will migrate to the new device like any regular iOS app when using device to device data transfer. The apps will automatically pick up the card information from Wallet but you will need to login to access the card app account. If you deleted the app before device to device date transfer, you will need to manually enter account and password information to login when re-adding the app. See the Suica App and PASMO App guide for account setup details.

e-Money card apps, especially WAON, sometimes ask for the Japanese mobile number used for registering the card in the app and send a time limited verification code via SMS.


Forgot to delete card on old device
If you forget to delete Suica before wiping the old iPhone when setting up a new one and cannot find your previous Suica Wallet card see: Recover Suica • PASMO and e-Money cards from a lost or wiped iPhone. Other topics can be found on the Apple Pay Suica • PASMO Guide.

Robust network connection is very important!
Make sure iPhone has a good WiFi or 4G/5G network connection and confirm you are outside of the 2am~4am JST Mobile Suica • Mobile PASMO system maintenance window. Do not use free WiFi or carrier auto-connect WiFi, they are notoriously unreliable. Don’t worry about losing your card SF account balance or commute plan information. Apple Pay iCloud and the Suica • PASMO systems preserve all of your card information. Just make sure that you are signed in with the same Apple ID on your new iPhone and Apple Pay is turned on. Remember that even a good WiFi network connection can quickly bog down when setting up a new iPhone, make sure you have a clean connection when adding Wallet cards.

Suica • PASMO card number changes
The Suica or PASMO card ID number may change when transferred to a new iPhone or Apple Watch Wallet. Soft-linked Apple Pay Suica • PASMO services like EX App (smartEX and Express Reservation), Touch and Go Shinkansen and JR East Ekinet Shinkansen eTickets stop working when the Suica • PASMO ID number changes and users must manually update information with each linked service account to re-link services with the new ID #. You can check the last 4 card number digits in the card information section, checking the full number requires a transit card issuer app such as Suica or PASMO app.

iOS 15 Wallet transfer Suica • PASMO to new iPhone