Apple Pay Suica users got a a new recharge option today: Rakuten Point, some 3 years after Android Osaifu Keitai users got the same thing with Rakuten Pay Suica, a Rakuten branded Suica. Despite the long wait I think Apple Pay Suica users have the better deal because Rakuten Point recharge works for any Suica card registered in iOS Suica App, Android Rakuten Pay users are limited to recharging the Rakuten banded Suica card. Apple Pay Suica users can also recharge from Rakuten Pay with a Rakuten Card to earn both Rakuten Point and JRE POINT.
What took so long? In a word Apple Pay Edy, which doesn’t exist yet because Rakuten hasn’t reached an agreement with Apple. Without Apple fully on board with all Rakuten payment options however, the Rakuten Economic Zone has been feeling some heat from PayPay which is frantically building its own Economic Zone. One easy way for Rakuten to parry the PayPay thrust is expanding Apple Pay Suica support because it is used nationwide. There are lots of people invested in the Rakuten Economic Zone…they will certainly put Rakuten Pay to use on Apple Pay Suica. It’s also a plus for JR East who want to expand the Suica recharge backend. I think this development also means that Apple Pay Edy is on the way, it would certainly be fun to have Apple Pay Edy on iOS 17 this fall.