Apple Pay Suica • PASMO Basic Troubleshooting

Notice: Apple Pay Wallet In-App recharge using foreign issue VISA cards is not working for Suica and PASMO. The issue has been ongoing since early August. Use Mastercard or AMEX for adding money to Apple Pay Suica and PASMO in Wallet app. Online user feedback the past few months suggest the following:

Non-JP VISA: does not work for Suica or PASMO recharge
Non-JP Mastercard: works for Suica recharge, some work for PASMO recharge (Capital One MC started working for PASMO in January, others not confirmed)
Non-JP AMEX: all cards work for Suica and PASMO recharge

Some VISA cards worked sporadically in December and February, but so far there are no across the board solid changes. Any updates will be posted here. Feedback appreciated! Other recharge workarounds here.

(Updated 2023-03-20 JST)

Basic Q&A troubleshooting issues are covered on the JR East Suica Apple Pay English language support page and the PASMO Apple Pay English language support page. Common issues are explained here in more detail and include Suica App or PASMO App use to resolve network issues not covered in the official but limited, English language support pages. Make sure you perform network troubleshooting outside of the Mobile Suica • PASMO 2 am ~ 4 am JST nightly service maintenance downtime window.

Recharge and Network Issues
The majority of Apple Pay Suica • PASMO issues are due to poor network connection issues, usually when using free WiFi, auto-connect carrier WiFi, or in crowded areas with maxed out mobile connectivity. Always make sure your device has a robust internet connection when recharging in Wallet app or using Suica or PASMO apps.

One important thing to remember about recharge: if you see failed charges on your credit or debit card, these are temporary charges that are not processed and automatically resolved by the Mobile Suica/PASMO system within 24 hours during the nightly system maintenance period. However temporary charges on your card are erased after a certain period of time depending on your card company.

When adding / transferring / recharging a Suica or PASMO card with a poor network connection, Wallet appears to hang during the process. Suica or PASMO App may show a ‘H017’ or ‘C102’ error.

When Apple Pay Suica•PASMO recharge fails or hangs, don’t panic. Cancel the recharge process by hitting the sleep button, then check to make sure iPhone has a robust network connection, turn off WiFi and use 4G • 5G, sometimes it helps to toggle Airplane Mode on and off to clear a bad connection. When you have a robust connection try recharge again. If recharge still fails Suica App or PASMO App may display an error numbers.

In all error cases do the following:

  1. Restart iPhone.
  2. Make sure your iPhone has a robust internet connection.
  3. Make sure you are not in the Mobile Suica / Mobile PASMO 2 am~4 am JST maintenance window.
  4. Open Suica App or PASMO App (you do not need a registered account for this operation)
  5. Tap the red explanation mark if you see one on the card, then tap ‘OK’

This operation will clear most error problems, if it does not clear the problem do the next steps:

  • Confirm that you are logged into the same Apple ID used to add Suica•PASMO
  • Open Wallet > select Suica or PASMO > tap the more button ‘…’ > scroll to the bottom of the card > tap ‘Remove this card’.
  • Wait 5 minutes.
  • Tap add card ‘+’ in Wallet, tap Previous Cards in Add to Wallet screen
  • You should see your Suica or PASMO in the Previous Cards screen, tap Continue.
  • In Add Card the Suica or PASMO you removed from Wallet should be showing with the balance, tap Next to complete.

When the card remove operation appears hung
If the Suica•PASMO card deletes from Wallet but appears hung as “Deleting” in the iCloud device list, sign out of Apple ID on your iPhone, restart the device, then login with the same Apple ID.

Card Unavailable Message
In some cases you may get a Card Unavailable screen when attempting to re-add Suica•PASMO in Wallet:

This means there are some issues that the Mobile Suica / Mobile PASMO systems will clear during the maintenance period. Simply wait for the end of the next 2 am~4 am JST maintenance window, then re-add the card.

**Troubleshooting notice for Apple Pay Commuter Suica users: Suica App 3.0 introduced a new process when re-adding Commuter Suica cards. There are cases when re-adding a Commuter Suica to Wallet the stored fare balance will be 0. Don’t panic if this happens, your stored fare balance is not lost. This is done so that commuter passes can be re-added and used immediately even if there are remaining stored fare issues to fix during the Mobile Suica nightly maintenance reset. The previous stored fare balance is restored manually via the Suica Pocket option in Suica App and will show up as a Suica App notification.

Bricked iPhone
If your iPhone or Apple Watch becomes bricked due to damage the first step is following the same steps for a lost or wiped device: login to your Apple ID account on the web or from another trusted Apple ID device and remotely delete the Apple Pay cards from the bricked device.

Restoring Suica etc. is exactly the same as transferring Suica to a new iPhone. Once you successfully delete the card on the bricked device and are ready to restore the card to a new device, simply add the card using the iOS 15 or later Wallet app Previous Cards category.

Mobile Suica account users also have the option to reissue the Suica from a bricked device via the Mobile Suica members site. Once signed in you can check the online status and balance of the Suica card. Select the reissue option and follow the instructions. Users can also quit Mobile Suica and refund the remaining card balance to a Japanese bank account with a ¥220 handling fee.

Trouble transferring plastic Suica•PASMO to Wallet
If you have problems transferring a plastic Suica•PASMO card to Wallet there are documented tips on the Apple Support page If you can’t transfer Suica or PASMO cards to your iPhone or Apple Watch in the “Try to add a Suica•PASMO card” section. These are reproduced below with some extra notes.

  1. 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. As noted in the Apple page when you transfer plastic My Suica or Commuter cards to Apple Pay you need to enter date of birth. But there are card naming restrictions to be aware of:
    • My Suica, personalized PASMO, or Commuter Suica and PASMO cards that use romaji names or international phone numbers are not supported by Apple Pay.

      The best thing to do if your iPhone cannot transfer plastic Suica•PASMO to Apple Pay is to take your plastic card the nearest JR station or PASMO member station and tell the station attendant that you want to re-issue your card with a katakana name. This is also the thing to do if your plastic Suica card is a very old Suica format that iPhone cannot read. Re-issue of a plastic Suica•PASMO at the station is free.
  2. If you are trying to add a second Suica or PASMO card to use with Apple Pay, make sure the name on the second card matches the first name on your My Suica, or Commuter Suica or PASMO card. If you have different names on multiple cards, download and register in Suica or PASMO App. (Card names can be changed to any preference in Suica or PASMO App)

  3. Make sure that your plastic card is resting on a flat non-metallic surface. Rest the top of your iPhone on the middle of the card. Keep it there until the transfer completes, which can take up to a minute. It might also help to hold your card and iPhone in your hand. (Non-metallic is the keyword here)
  4. Make sure that the value on your Suica or PASMO card doesn’t exceed 19500 Yen. (The card SF balance limit is ¥20,000)
  5. You can add a combo credit card + Suica•PASMO card by tapping Credit or Prepaid Card in Wallet. Only the credit card will be added to Apple Pay. The Suica•PASMO card cannot be added, and the balance of the card remains on the plastic combo card.
  6. Certain Suica and PASMO cards (like Student Commuter Suica cards) might need to be verified before you can add them to Apple Pay. For additional functionality of Suica or PASMO cards in the Wallet app, download and register within the Suica app or PASMO app on your iPhone.

    Be aware that Suica App / PASMO App are Japanese language only. Go to my Suica App • PASMO App Guide for English language help. Student Commuter cards are complicated because Apple Pay Commuter Suica•PASMO purchase and renewal requires a credit card and 18 is legal age for credit cards. Students can work around the no-credit card problem with using a Line pre-paid card registered in Suica App / PASMO App. The student verification process is explained in Japanese here.

Transit Gate Issues
When exiting the last station the user failed to tap correctly. The gate will flash red with an alert sound but sometimes the user continues on leaving the Suica card status as ‘in transit’. The next time you enter a transit gate it flashes red with an alarm sound. Take your iPhone to the station attendant and they will reset it but they will have to deduct fare from your previous trip to reset the card.

If you enter a transit gate with Suica but exit outside of the Suica/PASMO region, you will have to pay cash fare for the entire trip. The station attendant will give you a piece of paper validating that you paid the fare. When you are in the Suica/PASMO region again, give the paper and iPhone to a station attendant and they will reset it for you.