There are some things to remember when adding Suica to Apple Pay. These are well documented on the Apple Support page Get help transferring Suica cards to your iPhone or Apple Watch in the “Try to add a Suica card” section.
- Your birthdate is required only if you’re trying to add a My Suica or Commuter Suica card to Apple Pay. Use the same date of birth that you entered when you purchased your plastic Suica card.
The three basic Suica card varieties are: Unregistered, My Suica and Commuter. Suica App lets you create an Unregistered Suica without a Mobile Suica account but My Suica and Commuter require a Mobile Suica account to create in Suica App.
If you lose a plastic Unregistered Suica created at a JR station kiosk, it’s lost for good. My Suica and Commuter plastic Suica are registered with the JR East system when issued and can be re-issued at the station if lost. The re-issue cost of a lost Suica at the station is ¥510.
As noted in the Apple page when you add My Suica or Commuter plastic cards to Apple Pay you need to enter date of birth. Apple Pay and the Mobile Suica backend create a kind of “soft” Mobile Suica account when those kind of Suica are added so that they are easily matched to the JR East system and recovered when deleted from Wallet. But there are card naming restrictions to be aware of:
My Suica and Commuter Suica cards that use romaji names or international phone numbers are not supported. Pasmo and other transit cards are not supported.
The romaji name restriction is strange because your can use romaji for Suica card names in Suica App and you can enter romaji when purchasing Suica at the JR station kiosk. There could be some incompatibility between the systems.
The best thing to do if your iPhone cannot transfer plastic Suica to Apple Pay is to take your plastic Suica the nearest JR station and tell the station attendant that you want to re-issue Suica (with a Japanese name). This is also the thing to do if your plastic Suica card is the very old variety that iPhone cannot read. Re-issue of a plastic Suica at the station is free.
If you are trying to add a second Suica card to Apple Pay, make sure the name on the second card matches the first name on your My Suica and Commuter Suica card. If you have different names on multiple cards, download and register in the iOS Suica app, and call Suica Support at 050-2016-5077.
When you add My Suica or Commuter Suica to Apple Pay you lose the ability to add an Unregistered Suica. Basically you can only have a single Unregistered Suica in Apple Pay. Anything after that has to be a My Suica or Commuter Suica.
As noted above if you do not have Suica App and a Mobile Suica account the second Suica card name has to match the first. If you add Suica App and login to Mobile Suica you can edit card names.
Last but not least please remember that the Suica Support number is Japanese Language only.
- Make sure that your plastic Suica card is resting on a flat non-metallic surface. Rest the top of your iPhone on the middle of the Suica card. Keep it there until the transfer completes, which can take up to a minute. It might also help to hold your Suica card and iPhone in your hand.
Non-metallic is the keyword here.
- Make sure that the value on your Suica card doesn’t exceed 19500 Yen.
The Suica card pre-paid (SF) balance limit is ¥20,000. The 24 hour Suica Auto Recharge limit is ¥20,000.
- You can add a credit card with a Suica balance by tapping Credit or Prepaid Card in Wallet. Only the credit card will be added to Apple Pay. The Suica card cannot be added, and the balance of the Suica card remains on the plastic credit card.
JR East View Cards are combination credit card/Suica card. When adding a combination card to Apple Pay only the credit card portion is added.
- Certain Suica cards (like Student Commuter Suica cards) might need to be verified before you can add them to Apple Pay. For additional functionality of Suica cards in Apple Pay, download and register within the Suica app on your iPhone.
Student Commuter cards are complicated because Apple Pay Commuter Suica purchase and renewal requires a credit card and 18 is legal age for credit cards. Student can work around this with using a JCB Line pre-paid card in Suica App. The student verification process is explained in Japanese here.