UPDATE March 21
Mobile Suica is back online. The service was overloaded most of the day but problems cleared by 9 pm JST.
Mobile Suica has a major 20 hour maintenance downtime from 11 am March 20 until 7 am March 21 Japan Standard Time. All services will be offline and unavailable for the duration.
The JR East Mobile Suica Renewal page has details, warnings and instructions. This is an extremely long 20 hour system maintenance, JR East warns Apple Pay Suica users not to remove Suica from Wallet or transfer Suica to another device during the system maintenance downtime.
Unavailable Mobile Suica Services
Recharge with Suica App, Apple Pay, Google Pay
Commuter Pass/Green Seat purchase, refund, renewal
Suica reissue, transfer to other devices
Suica App/Mobile Suica transaction history
Receipt issue (via Mobile Suica site)
You cannot launch or login to Suica App (iOS), Mobile Suica (Android) and Mobile Suica web site. Be prepared and do the following before the downtime:
- Recharge: all Mobile Suica services will be down including Suica App login, be sure to recharge Apple Pay Suica before then. Regular Apple Pay Suica use and Auto-Charge will work as always, you can also cash recharge Suica at the nearest convenience store or station recharge kiosk during the Mobile Suica downtime.
- Make sure you have your Mobile Suica account ID and password ready: after the service downtime Apple Pay Suica users will have to download the updated Suica App and sign in. JR East recommends that Suica App users sign in and if necessary update account passwords by March 19.
Mandatory App Upgrade
Downtime is followed by mandatory app upgrades for iOS Suica App and Android Osaifu Keitai Mobile Suica. After downloading the upgrade you have to login with your Mobile Suica account ID and password. App service improvements include:
- New commute pass purchase UI for showing route details
- In app Touch and Go Shinkansen registration
- Easy cross OS Suica migration (Android~iOS) that eliminates the current one-way restriction.
- Improved notifications (both app and Wallet notifications)
- Multiple Suica card creation for Android (Apple Pay Suica has always had this feature)
The biggest improvements will be on the Android Osaifu Keitai side to remove the last vestiges old Symbian OS cruft and fully modernize it for the smartphone age. Another interesting point for Android Osaifu Keitai is that a new FeliCa Networks Osaifu Keitai app has to be downloaded and linked with the Android Mobile Suica app. I suspect it’s part of the major Mobile Suica cloud overhaul to streamline the system for future mobile transit card support (Mobile ICOCA and more).
In case you remove Apple Pay Suica from Wallet during the Mobile Suica maintenance downtime, wait until the Mobile Suica is up again before re-adding the card in Wallet. iPhone 7 JP and Apple Watch 2 JP Apple Pay Suica users who cannot do a simple Wallet re-add will have to: (1) reissue Suica via the updated Suica App and (2) wait an additional day for the reissue process to complete then re-add in Wallet.
Play it safe and expect trouble even after Mobile Suica is up and running and a slow Suica App update. Recharge Apple Pay Suica and write down your Mobile Suica login information before the Mobile Suica downtime.