Apple Pay Japan Card Guide

Intro
Japan has the longest history of mobile payments on a large scale thanks to the early cooperation of NTT DOCOMO and Sony to create Mobile FeliCa and the Osaifu Keitai mobile payment platform adopted by all Japanese carriers. This standard was in place 10 years before the EMV contactless standard for credit cards came together that was the basis for Apple Pay launched in 2014. The long history and pre-EMV FeliCa standard means that the Japanese mobile payments landscape is richer and more complicated than anywhere else.

Inbound Apple Pay Payment Cards
Q. Can I use my credit/debit payment cards issued in other countries for Apple Pay in Japan?
A. This is changing rapidly but assume that Japanese issue cards work best for using Apple Pay in Japan. Payment cards issued in other countries use EMV and do not directly support FeliCa NFC based QUICPay, iD and Suica•PASMO•Transit IC payment networks.

That said, you can work around this problem easily and plug Apple Pay credit/debit cards cards from home into the Apple Pay Japan network. Do this by adding Suica or PASMO to Apple Pay (iPhone 8•Apple Watch Series 3 or later) and add money to Suica•PASMO with your Apple Pay payment cards from home. This is highly recommended. Apple Pay Suica•PASMO works nationwide for transit and store purchases, anywhere, anytime. Problem solved. Remember to say ‘Suica’ or ‘PASMO’ to the checkout staff, not ‘Apple Pay’.

Stores like Doutor Cafe, McDonald’s, Lawson accept NFC Pay/EMV cards. Support is growing rapidly.

Don’t say ‘Apple Pay’
Support for Apple Pay Inbound payment cards, EMV contactless, is growing rapidly. The problem is knowing what works before checkout, there is no comprehensive online resource, store POS systems are constantly updated. You find out what works at checkout. When you see any of the Visa/Mastercard/Amex contactless acceptance logos at the payment terminal shown below, your corresponding Apple Pay cards from home are good for payment. Don’t say Apple Pay, tell the checkout staff you want to pay using: credit‘ or ‘touch‘: Visa Touch, mastercard Touch, etc.

EMV contactless acceptance logos
NFC Pay in action on terminal, note the acceptance logos for Visa and Mastercard contactless, the NFC Pay/EMV logo on the reader tap area does not mean the store accepts NFC Pay. Always check the payment logos.

Apple Pay Japan Cards

UPDATE 8-10-21
WAON and nanaco prepaid eMoney cards were announced for Apple Pay later this year. This page will be updated when details are released.

UPDATE 5-11-21
VISA Japan finally signed on with Apple Pay. Most, but not all, VISA JP issue cards support Apple Pay in-app/web purchases, dual mode NFC, and Suica • PASMO recharge directly in Wallet. See the table for details.

From the iOS User Guide:

Use Apple Pay at stores in Japan. You must have a model that supports Apple Pay in Japan (iPhone 8 • Apple Watch Series 3 and later) and either Suica or PASMO card, or credit/debit card issued by a bank in Japan. Let the cashier know if you’re paying with Suica, PASMO, iD, or QUICPay. Simply look for the logo on your card in Wallet. To use the Suica or PASMO card that’s set as your Express Transit card, simply hold the top of your iPhone near the reader.

Apple Pay Japan Cards
Major Japanese issue credit and debit cards on Apple Pay are listed below and can be used at stores displaying QUICPay and iD payment acceptance mark logos at checkout. Suica•PASMO, iD, and QUICPay are commonly found together. NFC dual mode cards support both FeliCa and EMV for seamless Apple Pay international use are available from Mastercard, American Express, VISA and JCB, and are marked accordingly.

(Horizontal view recommended for smartphones, Recharge refers to Wallet and Suica App • PASMO App recharge, In-App refers to Apple Pay in-app and web purchase support)

Issuer Brand FeliCa EMV Recharge In-App
SMBC Cards Visa id Visa Touch Wallet+App “Apple
“MC” id “MC Wallet+App “Apple
Docomo d CARD Visa id Visa Touch Wallet+App “Apple
“Mastercard” id “MC Wallet+App “Apple
Life Card Visa id App only
“Mastercard” id “MC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB id JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
AEON Visa id App only
“Mastercard” id Wallet+App “Apple
JCB id Wallet+App “Apple
Cedyna • SMBC Finance Service Visa id Visa Touch Wallet+App “Apple
“Mastercard” id “MC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB id JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
Pocket Card Visa id App only
“Mastercard” id Wallet+App “Apple
JCB id Wallet+App “Apple
MerPay “Mastercard” id Wallet+App “Apple
SoftBank Visa id App only
MIRAINO CARD “Mastercard” id “MC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
AMEX AMEX QUICPay Amex NFC Wallet+App “Apple
Dinners Club QUICPay App only
Trust Club Visa QUICPay App only
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
MUFG Visa QUICPay App only
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
DC Card Visa QUICPay App only
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
Nicos Card Visa QUICPay App only
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
Luxury Card “Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
APLUS Visa QUICPay Visa Touch Wallet+App “Apple
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
View Card Visa QUICPay Visa Touch Wallet+App “Apple
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
J-West Card Visa QUICPay App only
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
Yahoo Japan Visa QUICPay App only
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
Rakuten Visa QUICPay Visa Touch Wallet+App “Apple
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
Orico Visa QUICPay App only
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
JACCS Visa QUICPay Visa Touch Wallet+App “Apple
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
Saison Visa QUICPay Visa Touch Wallet+App “Apple
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
AMEX QUICPay Amex NFC Wallet+App “Apple
UC Card Visa QUICPay App only
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
EPOS Visa QUICPay App only
TS Cubic Visa QUICPay App only
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
Seven Card Credit Visa QUICPay App only
JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
Recruit Card Visa QUICPay App only
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
UCS Visa QUICPay App only
“Mastercard” QUICPay Wallet+App “Apple
JCB QUICPay Wallet+App “Apple
MICARD Visa QUICPay Visa Touch Wallet+App “Apple
AMEX QUICPay Amex NFC Wallet+App “Apple
au Wallet Credit Visa QUICPay App only
“Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
Lawson Bank “Mastercard” QUICPay “MC Wallet+App “Apple
Mizuho Debit JCB QUICPay JCB NFC Wallet+App “Apple
MUFG Debit JCB QUICPay Wallet+App “Apple
Kyash Visa QUICPay App only

The complete Apple Pay Japan list covering local bank card issue is on the Apple Pay Support Page.


Debit cards
Mizuho and MUFG offer virtual ‘Smart Debit’ JCB Apple Pay cards for account customers. JCB Debit Apple Pay cards are created via the Mizuho Wallet App, MUFG App and Minna no Ginko can be used for QUICPay (FeliCa) and J-Speedy/JCB Contactless (EMV) payments. Currently there are no Japan issue plastic issue debit cards that can be added to Apple Pay Japan.

Prepaid cards
Apple Pay Japan supports au Wallet Prepaid, and Docomo d Card Prepaid plastic issue cards for adding to Apple Pay Wallet. There are also instant issue digital only prepaid cards: Toyoto Wallet (iD + Mastercard), Line Pay (iD + VISA) , T-MONEY (iD + Matercard), SMBC V Point Prepaid (iD + VISA). Like virtual debit Apple Pay cards, prepaid cards require an app account and can only be added to Wallet with their respective app.

Outbound Tips
If you work and live in Japan and plan to use Apple Pay regularly, rearrange your credit/debit card collection to fit your needs:

  1. Apple Pay Suica Users
    If you are a daily Suica commuter, sign up for the Bic Camera JCB View Card and link it with a Bic Camera Point Card number. Next, get a JRE POINT Card and setup an online account to tie Suica, View Card and JRE POINT together into one supercharged point package. You will quickly rack up substantial JRE POINT and Bic Camera Store points just by using and recharging Apple Pay Suica with View Card.
  2. Outbound Apple Pay
    You can use a Japanese issue cards for Japanese and overseas Apple Pay dual mode use, Docomo d Card Mastercard is a good choice for Docomo customers with a low annual fee. Mastercard issue cards from au Wallet, TS Cubic and JACCS are also good options.

Mastercard is a good overall choice for Japanese issue cards. Mastercard gives you the best foreign exchange rates when traveling abroad, and Mastercard has robust dual mode (EMV/FeliCa) Apple Pay support for seamless use in Japan and abroad. Be sure to check Mastercard contactless dual mode support (NFC Pay) in the list above.

(updated 8-31-2021)