Apple Pay Suica • PASMO Guide

Suica and PASMO are prepaid transit cards for Japanese nationwide transit and on the go cashless purchases in stores. Anybody with iPhone 8 • Apple Watch 3 and later can add and use Suica or PASMO in Wallet app. Enjoy the benefits of mobile transit and payments in Japan thanks to Apple Pay Global NFC support.

Sections


Add a new Suica or PASMO to Wallet

  • Requirements
  • iPhone 8 • Apple Watch 3 and later, latest iOS • watchOS.
  • Apple Pay payment card already in Wallet for adding money to Suica • PASMO. Credit-debit-prepaid payment cards issued in your home country work fine. Set up Apple Pay with a payment card if you are not using Apple Pay.
  • Apple ID set up for two-factor authentication.
  • Outside of the 2 am~4 am JST Mobile Suica • Mobile PASMO system maintenance window.
  • Robust network connection.
  • A Suica or PASMO card can only exist on a single device, if you have iPhone and Apple Watch choose the one you want be your Suica • PASMO device. You can easily transfer the card between a paired iPhone and Apple Watch.
  • Add a new card
    Open iPhone or Apple Watch Wallet App and tap Add button “+” (iPhone Wallet) or “Add Card” (Apple Watch Wallet).
  • Tap Transit Card.
  • Tap Suica or PASMO, Tap Continue.
  • Select ¥ amount and tap Add.
  • Follow the steps to create a new transit card on your iPhone.
  • *If you added a Suica or PASMO card previously and removed it, re-add the card by selecting Previous Cards.

Transfer a plastic card
Have your Suica or PASMO card ready and the last 4 digits of the ID number on the back. Suica cards issued by Tokyo Monorail or Rinkai cannot be transferred to Apple Pay. Follow instructions and screenshots below for iOS 15 and later:

  • Open iPhone or Apple Watch Wallet App and tap the Add button “+” (iPhone Wallet) or “Add Card” (Apple Watch Wallet), tap Continue, tap Transit, Tap Suica or PASMO, tap Continue, tap Transfer Existing Card.
  • Enter the last 4 digits of the Suica•PASMO ID number.
  • If transferring My Suica/registered PASMO or Commuter Suica•PASMO enter your date of birth.
  • Transfer the card by resting the top of your iPhone on the middle of the card and leave without moving it, this may take a few minutes to complete.
  • The ¥500 card deposit is automatically added to the balance when the transfer is successfully completed.
  • You cannot use a plastic Suica•PASMO card after transferring it to iPhone.

Move card to Apple Watch
Transfer Suica • PASMO from iPhone or vice versa with Watch app. See “Move your Suica or PASMO from your iPhone to your Apple Watch” in Add a transit card to Apple Wallet support page for details. You cannot transfer a card between devices during a transit.


Add Money/Recharge with Apple Pay
Recharge a Suica or PASMO with Apple Pay, anytime and anywhere:

  • Tap Suica•PASMO card in Wallet.
  • Tap Add Money.
  • Choose the amount, tap Add.
  • Pay with Apple Pay: select the card you want to pay from and use Face ID/Touch ID to pay. Apple Pay credit/debit/prepaid card already in Wallet including cards issued in your home country work fine but some cards might not support Apple Pay in-app purchases. See Apple Pay Japan Card Guide for details.

Add Money/Recharge with Cash
Suica•PASMO can be recharged with Japanese cash. This is the best option for inbound visitors without an Apple Pay credit/debit card or from a country where Apple Pay is not available yet:

  • Convenience Store Recharge: recharge at any convenience store cash register. Tell the store clerk “Suica/PASMO Charge”, and follow checkout screen instructions as shown on the Recharge page.
  • Station Smart-Charge Kiosk: available in Tokyo area train and Metro stations shown on the Recharge page. Place iPhone or Apple Watch in the blue reader bin, select the amount of money you want to add on the touch screen and feed some bills to start the process, The blue bin flashes red while the kiosk recharges Apple Pay Suica, then turns blue again when done.
  • 7-Eleven ATM Cash Recharge: 7-Eleven ATMs are plentiful and open 24 hours.

See Suica • PASMO Recharge for details.


Inbound Tips
Q: Is there any difference between using Suica or PASMO?
A: Suica and PASMO are identical for transit and payments. Choose either one. The only difference applies to (1) commuter pass coverage, (2) earning point rewards, (3) day passes. See the Suica • PASMO App guide for details.

PASMO has one small advantage for inbound visitors without Apple Pay support in their home country: add a new PASMO in Wallet without any Apple Pay credit card with PASMO App. Download and open PASMO App, follow the screenshots to add an unregistered PASMO card to Wallet with a ¥0 balance. Add a balance with cash and use Apple Pay PASMO without credit card recharge.


Express Mode
Apple Pay Express Mode is automatically turned on when you first add Suica or PASMO card to Wallet. Touch ID/Face ID is not necessary with Express Mode, you don’t need to wake or unlock your device or open an app to use transit or make the purchase. And you can use Apple Pay while wearing a face mask.

Simply hold the top of your iPhone or display of your Apple Watch within a few centimeters of the contactless reader until you see Done and a checkmark on the display. For transit gates glide through holding iPhone just above the blue reader area:

At some store checkouts you might need to select the Suica•PASMO payment option on a checkout screen before you pay, most of the time just say, “Suica” or “PASMO” to the sales clerk then hold iPhone or Apple Watch to the reader. Express Mode is secure, here are a few points to be aware of:

  • Express Mode on iPhone only works while Face ID/Touch ID is active and is disabled after 5 Face ID misreads. 5 Face ID misreads is easy to do without realizing it when wearing a face mask but there is no notification. You only find out Express Mode is disabled with an unexpected passcode prompt at the transit gate or store reader. iPhone 12 and later users can turn on the ‘use Face ID with a mask’ feature, iPhone X ~ iPhone 11 users can turn off ‘Raise to Wake’ in Settings > Display & Brightness to reduce the chance of Face ID misreads while wearing a face mask.
  • Express Mode on Apple Watch remains active for 10 minutes after taking off Apple Watch, after 10 minutes Express Mode deactivates until the Apple Watch passcode is entered.
  • Suica•PASMO is a prepaid card, it only holds the amount of money that you add to it with Apple Pay, or with cash
  • Only one Suica•PASMO card can be set for Express Mode. If you have multiple cards switch the Express Mode card in Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay, tap Express Mode Card, choose a new card, then authorize with Face ID/Touch ID.
Wallet can hold both Suica and PASMO but only one card can be set for Express Mode

Transit and Payments Coverage

Transit: Apple Pay Suica•PASMO can be used nationwide on all major transit systems covering rail and bus. This includes compatibility with other regional transit card areas: TOICA, ICOCA, SUGOCA, Kitaca, manaca, nimoca, Hayaken, PiTaPa.

Payments: Apple Pay Suica•PASMO is also good for contactless purchases nationwide at convenience stores, vending machines, taxis and any store or payment terminal displaying the Transit IC logo or logo marks for: Suica, PASMO, TOICA, ICOCA, SUGOCA, Kitaca, manaca, nimoca, Hayaken. These cards are all compatible with each other for transit and purchases.



Battery and Network

Express Card Power Reserve Mode
Still good when out of juice: Apple Pay Express Mode with power reserve mode on iPhone XR/XS and later lasts up to 5 hours. You can use Express Mode power reserve for transit, purchase and cash recharge.


Suica • PASMO Shinkansen eTickets

Suica•PASMO are the only mobile transit card in the world that can be used for both Shinkansen and regular transit, Apple Pay Suica•PASMO can be used for Shinkansen travel on all the major lines. There are 3 ways to use Apple Pay Suica or PASMO for Shinkansen travel:



JRE POINT

If you are in Japan using Apple Pay Suica in the long term you can add more features:
1) Set up a Mobile Suica account in Suica App for purchasing day passes and commute plans
2) Set up a JRE POINT account and earn JRE POINT with Suica transit and Apple Pay recharge, JR East Shinkansen eTicket purchases, and store purchases. You can use JRE POINT for free Suica recharges, Green Car Seat upgrades, and all domestic JR East ticket purchases in the Eki-Net reservation service (web and app).

JRE POINT Beginners Guide Chart

Express Mode Savvy Store Readers

Express Mode is great, however some old store readers are not Express Mode savvy and require Face ID/Touch ID authentication. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good: Fortunately, all convenience stores and almost all NFC store readers everywhere are Express Mode savvy with new readers and POS systems being rapidly deployed and upgraded. Just say, “Suica” or “PASMO” to the cashier then hold iPhone to the reader. NFC readers like the ones pictured below work great.

The Bad: a few old NFC readers are not Express Mode card savvy. These are rare but the NFC reader forces you to manually select the Apple Pay Suica•PASMO card in Wallet and perform Touch ID/Face ID authentication like regular Apple Pay. Be patient as these older reader transaction speeds are sluggish. Be wary when you encounter the old model black JREM NFC readers pictured below on the left, new model JREM readers pictured on the right work great and are wicked fast.

The Ugly: UT1-Neo NFC readers show below are Express Mode card savvy but sensitive how iPhone/Apple Watch is held. The trick is to keep iPhone or Apple Watch completely still until the reader beeps, ignore the Apple Pay ka-ching ‘transaction complete’ sound. UT1-Neo NFC readers are found in smaller stores and coffee shops such as Ueshima Coffee and Tsubakiya Coffee.



Support and Troubleshooting

Apple Pay Suica • PASMO cards are linked to your Apple ID
If you sign out of iCloud, the Apple Pay Suica • PASMO card is deleted from Wallet and stored on iCloud. See Transfer Suica and other transit cards to a new iPhone to restore the card. You must sign in with the same Apple ID used to re-add Suica • PASMO, if you sign into iCloud with a different Apple ID than the one used to add Suica • PASMO, you cannot restore Suica • PASMO to Wallet.

Mobile Suica • Mobile PASMO Cloud Maintenance
From 2 am to 4 am JST many Suica•PASMO functions are not available: adding cards, Apple Pay Recharge, using Suica App or PASMO App, removing Suica•PASMO cards via iCloud.com.

Suica and PASMO Support
Suica Intro page (English)
Apple Pay Suica Support (English)
Mobile Suica Support Portal (Japanese)
Use PASMO with Apple Pay • Support (English and Chinese)

Apple Support
Add a Suica or PASMO 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
If your transit card balance doesn’t update in Apple Wallet

Information & Troubleshooting

Mobile Suica Operational Hours (24 hour format)
Account Registration
04:00~02:00 Create new account
05:00~00:50 Register and transfer Suica commuter pass to Mobile Suica account
Stored Fare Balance
04:00~02:00 Wallet App or Suica App recharge*
*(Cash recharge at stations, ATM, convenience stores is always available)
04:00~02:00 Auto-Charge registration/change settings/cancel
05:00~00:50 View transaction history in Suica App
05:00~00:50 Download PDF receipts from Mobile Suica members site
Commute Plans
05:00~23:45 Purchase, renew, refund or change commute plan route
Green Seat Upgrade
04:00~00:50 Purchase Green Seat Upgrade in Suica App
05:00~00:50 Refund Green Seat Upgrade in Suica App
Suica Day Pass
05:00~23:45 Purchase Day Pass in Suica App
05:00~23:45 Refund Day Pass in Suica App
Other
05:00~23:45 Mobile Suica reissue
04:00~02:00 Transfer Suica to new device
05:00~23:45 Suica withdrawal refund

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

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 Mode with power reserve
Apple Pay Express Mode Tips

Updated 2022-3-10