Remove Suica and other transit or e-Money cards from Wallet but not lose them

A reader question:

What’s the process if I want to remove Suica card from Apple Pay Wallet but not lose the card? I plan to sell my phone but have a commuter pass that’s still valid.

This one is super easy. Go to Wallet, tap Suica, tap “˙˙˙” in the upper right corner, scroll to the bottom of the Suica card options, tap “Remove This Card”.

Poof, the card is gone from Wallet, but don’t worry.

This is where the fun begins. Suica, PASMO, ICOCA and other transit or e-Money stored value cards are automatically migrated from Wallet and stored on Apple Pay and Mobile Suica (PASMO, ICOCA, WAON, nanaco, etc.) servers where they are safe and ready to be re-added to the same iPhone, a new iPhone or Apple Watch logged in with the same Apple ID at any time with the SF balance and any attached extras like commute plans intact.

This is all done in Wallet. Users don’t need a Mobile Suica or similar account or app to do this. For example, if you add a plastic regular or commuter Suica card to Apple Pay and remove it from Wallet, simply add it back when you need it. It all works seamlessly because of an arrangement between Apple and JR East (or equivalent service) that links Apple Pay and Suica together in a special way.

If you install Suica App and look at the card info, you see something like this:

Let’s say you add a 2nd plastic Suica card to Apple Pay. Look at the Suica App info for the 2nd card and you’ll see something like this:

What’s happening on the system level is that even though you do not have a Mobile Suica account, Apple Pay automatically registers your Apple ID on Mobile Suica Cloud the first time you add Suica card to Wallet, so that you never lose it. If you add a 2nd card it is also registered as Apple ID_1, a 3rd card as Apple ID_2, etc. Each and every Suica card is safe and secure no matter how many times you remove it from Wallet.

The important thing to remember is this: removing Suica, PASMO, ICOCA or e-Money cards from Wallet never deletes the card from Apple Pay iCloud.