Suica • PASMO App Guide

Requirements: Latest version of iOS and Suica App or PASMO App
Note: you do not need Suica App or PASMO App to add cards to Wallet, add Suica or PASMO directly in Wallet


Intro
Suica App and PASMO App are iOS apps for accessing the full range of Mobile Suica • Mobile PASMO cloud services. Mobile Suica is the JR East Suica mobile phone and cloud service that launched in 2006 for Japanese feature phones, Japanese Android phones in 2011 and Apple Pay in 2016. Mobile PASMO and Apple Pay PASMO launched in 2020.

Suica App has 4 basic functions: (1) JR East rail commute plan purchase, expired commute plan renewal, (2) Green Car Seat upgrades, (3) Auto-Charge setup, (4) Suica Recharge and Green Seat upgrades using JRE POINT.

PASMO App has 2 basic functions: (1) PASMO rail and bus commute plan purchase and expired commute plan renewal, (2) Auto-Charge setup.



Account registration and basic menus
To access all Suica App • PASMO App menu functions you must register an account if you do not have one. Before registering it helps to have name and address information prepared in copy/paste Japanese format. Last name, first name needs to be all caps in full roman width and katakana versions, address information in Japanese format.

To register an account tap Purchase/Manage [d] and you are greeted with a registration screen prompt.

Past the initial agreement terms you are in the main registration screen. The screens below are for Suica App. Account registration is basically the same but simplified in PASMO App.

After successfully completing account registration you can access and use all the menus of Suica App or PASMO App.

  • [a] Account Settings: edit account information: iPhone mobile number, login password, email address and Face ID/ Touch ID login settings. In PASMO App you also register credit card information in Account Settings
  • [b] Add Card: add Suica•PASMO directly in Wallet without Suica App or PASMO App
  • [c] Recharge: recharge Suica•PASMO on iPhone or remotely on Apple Watch
  • [d] Purchase/Manage: purchase a Commute Plan for a Suica•PASMO card already in Wallet, purchase a Green Car Seat upgrade for Suica, register a credit card for Suica•PASMO Auto-Charge setup
  • [i] Information: tap card or ‘i‘ for card ID#, commute plan ID# and other card details

Suica and PASMO card info and ID systems are slightly different. A Mobile Suica card ID is tied to the registered email address or your Apple ID mail address. If you update your mail address you must also update your Suica card ID using a one-time generated confirmation code. If the Suica ID changes you need to update a linked JRE POINT account. If the Suica•PASMO card number changes you will need to update linked services that use the card number: Eki-Net Shinkansen eTicket account and smartEX/EX-Press Shinkansen eTicket account.


Commute Plans • Green Car Seat Upgrades

The Purchase/Manage menu [d] is where the core functionality of Suica App and PASMO App resides. One important thing to remember if you have multiple Apple Pay Suica•PASMO Wallet cards: all Purchase/Manage items (Commute Plans, credit card registration, etc.) are attached to the selected card only. Select a different card to purchase commute plans, or manage options for that card.

Commute Plan Basics

See the Apple PAY Suica • PASMO Commute Plan Guide for in depth purchase and renewal details. The basic difference between Suica and PASMO commute plans are: (1) Suica App Commute Plans only cover JR East train lines or JR East + PASMO lines, (2) PASMO App Commute Plans covers PASMO only train and bus lines or PASMO + JR East train lines and PASMO only train + bus combo commute plans.

  • New Commute Plan: Purchase a new Commute Plan for any Apple Pay Suica•PASMO card in Wallet.
  • Renew Commute Plan: renew the Suica•PASMO Commute Plan directly in Wallet, the renewal window is 14 days before the expiration date.
  • Renew Expired Commute Plan: If you miss the expiration date purchase a new commute plan using the previous route with a new start date.
  • Change Commute Plan: If you need to change the commute plan (station points, transfer points) before the expiration, refund and cancel the current plan, then create a new plan.
  • Cancel and Refund Commute Plan: Cancel and refund the current plan based on remaining validity and ¥200 processing fee.

SF use after commute plan expiration option: After a commute plan purchase you are presented with a commute plan expiration option. Select Use or Don’t Use:

  • Use SF: Suica • PASMO works normally but if you forget to renew your commute plan you may end up using the more expensive SF fare on your commute plan route without realizing it.
  • Don’t Use SF: Suica • PASMO SF transit stops working when your commute plan expires, forcing you to renew the commute plan.

Choose the option you want to use and tap done in the upper right.


Green Car Seat Upgrade (Suica only)
Green Car Seat Upgrades are non reserve first class seats on regular trains with dedicated Green Cars or Green Seat sections. With Suica App you can purchase a Green Car Upgrade either before or after you get on the train for the same pre-boarding price. Make sure you have a good network connection when making a Green Car Upgrade. As with all Suica App purchases, you only purchase for your own individual Apple Pay Suica, there are no group purchases.

To purchase a Green Car Seat Upgrade follow the screenshot instructions below. You can also use JRE POINT for Green Seat purchases. Upgrades can only be made for the current day. After the purchase find an empty Green Car seat on the train with a red indicator on the ceiling above, tap your Apple Pay Suica to the Suica logo, the indicator light will turn green. Suica App will show your Green Car Upgrade as used.

 Green Seat Upgrade PricesMobile SuicaMobile Suica
 WeekdayHoliday
Up to 50km¥780¥580
From 51km¥1000¥800

Card Management

Card Management controls card details such as the card name, auto-charge, notification sounds and so on. Some Management functions only work with JR East VIEW credit cards or certain PASMO credit cards:
Auto-Charge (Suica and PASMO) automatic recharge when the SF balance drops to a user set recharge trigger amount.
VIEW EX-Press (Suica only) registers the JR East VIEW credit card for JR Central EX app system EX-Press Shinkansen eTicket purchases. See the Apple Pay Suica EX guide for details.


Credit Card Registration
Registering a credit card in Suica App • PASMO App expands recharge options and also adds Auto-Charge if you have the right Auto-Charge compatible credit card. Suica • PASMO App registered credit cards work separately from Apple Pay and offer maximum flexibility with Japanese issue Visa cards that do not support Apple Pay In-App purchasing and recharge.

  • Suica App and PASMO App credit card registration is limited to Japanese issue cards.
  • For PASMO App you must also have a 3D Secure compatible credit card with a 3D Secure ID and password setup with the card issuer to register a credit card.
  • You do not need to register a credit card in Suica App • PASMO App for commute plans and other In-app purchases. In-app purchases be made with Apple Pay Wallet payment cards issued in your home country.
  • In Suica App:
    Tap Purchase•Manage > Tap Change credit card info and enter the card number and expiration date with the camera or manually > the next step is the 3D Secure authorization. Suica App credit card registration is not global and attaches to a single Suica card. If you have multiple Suica Wallet cards register the same credit card to each one or a different credit card. Suica App supported Japanese issue brands: VIEW Card, VISA, JCB, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club, JR Central EXPress Card.
  • In PASMO App:
    Tap Account Settings > tap Credit Card Info and enter the card number and expiration date > the next step is the 3D Secure authorization login, different for each card issuer brand (VISA, Mastercard, AMEX, JCB). You can register up to 2 credit cards. PASMO App credit card registration is global and applies to multiple PASMO cards in Wallet. PASMO App supported Japanese issue brands: VISA, JCB, Mastercard, American Express.

For Japanese issue Visa card holders registering Visa in Suica App • PASMO App works around the Visa Japan Apple Pay Suica Recharge limitation in Wallet.

Suica App and PASMO App credit card 3D Secure confirmation is different for each issuer

Auto-Charge
Auto-Charge is a different process from regular recharge as the auto-charge registered Suica or PASMO card recharges instantly at the transit gate when the card balance drops to a user preset value. Auto-recharge is very convenient and works without a network connection. I highly recommend it if you have an Auto-Charge eligible Japanese issue credit card.

Suica App: tap Auto-Charge Setup and enter the Suica balance trigger amount and Auto-Charge amount.
PASMO App: tap Auto-Charge Setup and enter the trigger amount and Auto-Recharge amount.

Auto-Charge limitations

  • Auto-Charge only triggers on JR East Suica and PASMO fare region transit gates. Transit gates outside of the JR East Suica and PASMO fare regions such as Nagoya or Osaka do not trigger Auto-Charge.
  • Store or vending machine purchases do not trigger Auto-Charge


Recharge in Suica App • PASMO App
After credit card registration you can Recharge in Suica•PASMO App with Apple Pay or the App registered card. You can also remotely recharge a Suica•PASMO on a paired Apple Watch, which is very convenient. The Suica screenshots below are the same for PASMO App.

Suica Pocket (Suica only) and Transaction History (Suica•PASMO)
The SF section covers Stored Fare functions including transactions and Suica Pocket. Transaction History lists all Suica recharges and SF use for transit and purchases up to the previous day, but not for the current day. Open Wallet to view Suica purchases and transit for the current day. If you delete a Suica card from Wallet all transaction history is erased from your device but you can access all Suica transaction history via the Mobile Suica web site. Online Transaction history lists online purchases.

Suica Pocket is a temporary holding cache for receiving JRE POINT recharges and e-money transferred from the Mobile Suica system. Suica Pocket receives SF from Suica campaign cash-backs, refunds from Suica online purchases and free Suica recharges exchanged from JRE Points. The screen shots below show the process for receiving a free Suica Recharge exchanged from JRE POINT.

View EX/Express Reserve Shinkansen eTickets (Suica only)
This option registers Apple Pay Suica to the JR Central EX system for Express Reservation membership which costs ¥1,080 a year. With this option activated you can use Apple Pay Suica for eTicket travel on the JR Central/JR West Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen. See Apple Pay Suica EX Quick Guide for registration and eTicket purchase details.

SF use after commute plan expiration /Notification Sound (Suica•PASMO)/Touch and Go Shinkansen (Suica)
Other Manage menu functions include a Commute Plan Expiration Option that stops automatic use of the SF balance on your commute plan route when the commute plan has expired, and forces you to renew the commute plan to use Suica again for transit.

Other options are a sub menu in Suica App, similar options are in PASMO management menu

You can also use notification sounds: (1) commute plan expiration notification is a special longer 2 beep sound that emits from the transit gate, not your iPhone or Apple Watch, from 14 days before expiration, (2) low SF sound is a special 3 beep sound that emits from both transit gates and store readers. These are handy audio reminders and recommend using this notification setting. Suica users can also use Touch and Go for ticketless JR East Shinkansen line transit with Apple Pay Suica.


Refunds

There are 2 kinds of Suica and PASMO refunds: (1) Commute Plan refunds, (2) Stored Fare (SF) balance refunds. Suica App also has Suica Green Seat Upgrade purchase refunds.

Commute Plans and Green Seat Purchases are refunded directly to the payment card used for the purchase, either the Apple Pay credit/debit card or the app registered credit card.

A SF refund is called a withdrawal SF refund because the Suica or PASMO SF balance is a cash refund and withdraws the Suica or PASMO card from the Apple Pay and Mobile Suica • Mobile PASMO system forever. You can never use the card again.

Commute Plan refund
To cancel your commute plan and get a refund before the expiration date using Suica App or PASMO App. Refund of a current plan costs an upfront ¥220 processing fee. The refund amount is calculated on how many valid days are left before expiration. If too close to the expiration date you won’t get a refund. Follow the screenshots below for a refund, the steps are the same for Suica and PASMO.

Refunds are made back your to Apple Pay credit/debit card or the app registered credit card used to purchase the commute plan. The commute plan is invalidated immediately but you can still use it as a regular Suica for purchases and transit. You can also purchase a new commute plan for the Suica at any time with Suica App. Similar screenshot steps for a PASMO commute plan refund are shown here.

Suica Green Seat Upgrade purchase refunds are only accepted during the same day validity of the Green Seat Upgrade. Steps are similar to commute plan refunds: tap Green Seat Upgrade, tap refund and follow screen prompts to pay the ¥220 fee and refund purchase to your credit card. If you could not use the Suica Green Seat Upgrade due to a train delay or other service problem, ask a station agent for a ‘none-use certificate’ and get a free refund.


Withdrawal SF Refund

Remember: a SF refund withdraws the Suica or PASMO card from the Apple Pay and Mobile Suica • Mobile PASMO systems forever. You can never use the card again. It’s also a pain in the ass. JR East recommends using up the balance instead of a withdrawal SF refund. This is far easier to do. Just use the balance, remove Suica from Wallet and forget about it. Apple Pay iCloud stores it for you in case you ever need to use it again.

Suica and PASMO withdrawal SF refund requirements are:

  • A Japanese bank account
  • A refund processing fee of ¥220 for each card refund
  • No SF balance refunds when the card has not been used for 10 years

If you already have a Japanese bank account, the process is straight forward. Open Suica App or PASMO App, if you have multiple cards choose the one you want to refund, tap on Ticket Purchase•Manage, scroll to the bottom of the list and tap ‘Refund this Suica’ or ‘Refund this PASMO SF and Commute Plan’. The following screenshot steps are the same for both cards.

Scroll to the bottom of Terms and Conditions and tap Agree. In the next screen confirm the SF refund amount of the Suica card then tap next.

In the next few screens you enter your bank account information so have the information ready. In the first screen enter the first 3 katakana of the bank name and tap search, select bank name, enter the first katakana of the bank branch name and tap search, select the bank branch name, enter the bank account type, account number and account name and tap next. In the final screen confirm your information then tap Suica Refund.

Once completed, Mobile Suica or Mobile PASMO sends an email to your registered address, the bank transfer takes 2~4 weeks to process. You can also run down the SF balance to zero then apply for a withdrawal SF refund. This does not require bank account entry or the ¥220 processing fee.

Once you have applied for the withdrawal SF refund, the Suica or PASMO card remains in Wallet but can no longer be used. Remove the card from Wallet. The deleted card will appear in Previous Cards for up to 24 hours and is removed automatically.


Support and Troubleshooting

General Topics

  • The latest iOS and Suica App versions recommended
  • Mobile Suica and Mobile PASMO Cloud Maintenance: from 2 am to 4 am JST many Apple Pay Suica•PASMO and App functionalities aren’t available, this includes adding cards, Apple Pay Recharge, and suspending and removing cards from Find My iPhone and iCloud.com.
  • Apple Pay cards are linked to your Apple ID. If you sign out of iCloud your Apple Pay Suica card is stored on Mobile Suica or Mobile PASMO cloud, see Migrate Suica•PASMO to a new iPhone below to restore Suica•PASMO. If you sign into iCloud with a different Apple ID than the one used to add Suica•PASMO, you cannot access them. You must sign in with the same Apple ID.

JR East and PASMO Support
JR East Suica Intro page (English)
JR East Apple Pay Suica Support (English)
JR East Mobile Suica Support Portal (Japanese)
PASMO Support (English)

Apple Support
Add a transit card to Apple Wallet
Using Suica or PASMO in Japan
If you can’t transfer Suica or PASMO cards to your iPhone or Apple Watch

Information & Troubleshooting

General
Basic Suica • PASMO Troubleshooting
Reactivate a locked Suica or PASMO

Transfer • Recover • Remove
Transfer Suica • PASMO to a new iPhone or Apple Watch
Recover Apple Pay Suica • PASMO from Lost or Wiped iPhone
Remove Suica • PASMO from Wallet but not lose them

Commute Plan Renewal • Purchase
Suica • PASMO Apple Pay Commute Plan Guide

Notifications and Sounds
Suica • PASMO Notification and Reminder Settings
Suica • PASMO Gate Sounds and What They Mean

Suica App • PASMO App
Unlocking Suica App Security Lock
Apple Pay Suica Paper Receipts
Suica • PASMO Withdrawal Refund

Other Topics
iPhone X NFC Problem Q&A Exchange Guide
Fixing Suica • PASMO Lockout
Apple Pay Suica Battery FUD
Suica Inbound Battery Strategies
Mizuho Suica for Apple Pay
Apple Pay Express Transit with power reserve
Apple Pay Express Transit Tips