SmartEX a new e-ticket reservation/purchase service from JR Central and JR West for Shinkansen travel between Fukuoka and Tokyo. The service starts September 30. Here is a quick summary.
-Use all 10 major transit IC cards for ticketless Shinkansen boarding
-Use Apple Pay Suica for ticketless Shinkansen boarding
–Use the updated EX App to reserve and purchase SmartEX Shinkansen e-tickets
-Ticketless transfers from Shinkansen to regular train lines with Apple Pay Suica or transit IC card
-Discount for purchasing Shinkansen e-tickets with SmartEX
-E-ticket purchases with credit cards
-SmartEX membership is free
-All other major transit cards outside of Suica don’t work with Apple Pay or any smartphone
-Discount for purchasing Shinkansen e-tickets with SmartEX is only ¥200
-No SmartEX or EX App Apple Pay support
-Registration can only be done with a web browser, just like 2007 era iPhone before the App Store.
TheSmartEX is JR Central/JR West’s first step into IC transit based card e-ticket purchase and ticketless Shinkansen boarding. The web browser based registration process is old fashioned, ugly and definitely not smartphone friendly but gets the job done. You register a email address, a credit card and the number of your Apple Pay Suica or plastic IC Transit card. You can then log in and purchase Shinkansen e-tickets with the EX App which are automatically linked to your Apple Pay Suica or IC Transit card.
Ticketless Shinkansen travel is convenient but you can get better Shinkansen discounts purchasing regular old paper tickets at a discount ticket store, or joining EX-PRESS Reserve if you travel regularly. Screen shots and links to the SmartEX site are included below.
Update: 9/30: Added EX App information, more details with video here.