Google Pay Suica Goes Live

Google Pay Suica

As anticipated by Android Police earlier this month Suica has officially launched on Google Pay in Japan. Mobile Suica has been available on the Android platform since 2011 via the Osaifu-Keitai e-wallet service offered by the major Japanese carriers NTT Docomo, KDDI au and Softbank. For Japanese customers on Android, Google Pay offers a limited sub-set of full e-wallet services they already have.

With this rollout all the major stored value “prepaid” e-money cards are now on Google Pay: Suica, WAON, nananco and Rakuten EDY. JCB and JACCS credit card support and the Japanese P2P payments startup Kyash service is promised for later this summer. Only Osaifu-Keitai models from the major JP carriers (for the most part) support Google Pay Japan. As I wrote earlier, FeliCa support on Android devices outside of the Japan market is a complicated story, Google native support of FeliCa has been uneven at best. Support for the major FeliCa payment networks iD and QUICPay is missing.

Hopefully we’ll get a clearer picture in the days ahead.

UPDATE: as suspected, Google Pay Suica requires a Osaifu-Keitai ready smartphone and Android 5. Google is not going to promote or make a Global FeliCa Android answer to the Global FeliCa iPhone. Pixel 2, Android Pay and HCE-F made that clear.

UPDATE 2: looks like Google Pay Suica does not have native support for Suica Commuter Pass creation/renewal or extra functionality that Suica App provides to Apple Pay Suica users, also only a single Suica card per Android device is supported. Mobile Suica app to the rescue.

UPDATE 3: Android users who can’t use Google Pay Suica out of the box are losing their shit.

Google Pay Suica does not support Suica Commuter
Google Pay Suica does not offer all the goodies of Osaifu-Keitai Mobile Suica