Apple Pay Japan Card Guide

1️⃣ Apple Pay Suica • PASMO Guide
2️⃣ Suica • PASMO Recharge
3️⃣ Suica App • PASMO App Guide
4️⃣ >Apple Pay Japan Card Guide

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 long before the EMV contactless standard for credit cards came together that was the basis for Apple Pay released in 2014. The long history 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 it is best to assume that only Japanese issue cards work for 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. However you can work around this problem easily and plug your cards from home into the Apple Pay Japan network, read on.

The basic strategy is this: integrate your Apple Pay cards from home into the Japanese contactless payment networks by adding Apple Pay Suica•PASMO. With iPhone 8/iPhone X/Apple Watch Series 3, or later, add Suica•PASMO to Apple Pay 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, you add money to Suica•PASMO with your Apple Pay cards from home with no extra charges. Anywhere, Anytime. Problem solved. 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.

Support for Apple Pay Inbound payment cards is growing rapidly. The problem is knowing before checkout: no comprehensive online resource exists and POS systems are constantly updated. You find out what works and what doesn’t at checkout. When you see any of the Visa/Mastercard/Amex contactless acceptance marks at the payment terminal shown below, your Apple Pay cards from home are good for payment. Tell the checkout staff that you want to pay with ‘credit’ or ‘NFC Pay’.

NFC Pay Acceptance Marks
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.

Using Apple Pay Japan Cards

Support Pages
Set up Apple Pay
iD
QUICPay
Using Apple Pay in Japan (Japan section)

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.

Major Apple Pay Japan Cards
The Japanese issue credit and debit cards listed below support Apple Pay 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. Japanese issue Visa cards do not support Suica•PASMO Recharge in Wallet but can recharge via Suica App • PASMO App. NFC dual mode cards that support both FeliCa and NFC Pay/EMV payments, very convenient for seamless Apple Pay international use, are available from Mastercard, American Express and JCB, and are marked accordingly.

(Horizontal view recommended, App recharge refers to Suica App and PASMO App recharge. Wallet In-App refers to web purchases)

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

(updated 4-1-2021)

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


Q. VISA is not listed on the Apple Pay Japan page, do VISA cards work with Apple Pay?
A. VISA Japan has not signed an agreement with Apple for Apple Pay in Japan. VISA cards issued in Japan do not support Apple Pay Suica Recharge nor Apple Pay In App and web purchase. However, VISA Japan issue cards from the above list work for store purchases with QUICPay and iD, when you add a Visa issue card to Wallet it will display an iD or QUICPay logo but not the VISA logo.

Q. Can I use prepaid cards with Apple Pay Japan?
A. Apple Pay Japan supports au Wallet Prepaid, and Docomo d Card Prepaid plastic card that you add to Apple Pay Wallet. There are also instant issue Toyoto Wallet (iD + Mastercard) and Line Pay (iD + VISA) prepaid cards that require an account and are added to Wallet with their respective app. Line Pay is VISA issue and does not support Apple Pay Suica Recharge.

Q. Can I use debit cards with Apple Pay Japan?
A. Mizuho and MUFG offer virtual ‘Smart Debit’ JCB Apple Pay cards for account customers. Smart Debit JCB Apple Pay cards are created via the Mizuho Wallet App or MUFG App and 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.

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 the best 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.