iOS 11.2 Suica Notification Bug

Many more Japanese users are tweeting about the iOS 11.2 Apple Pay Suica Notification bug mentioned yesterday and appears to be widespread. Suica “gate flicker”, a momentary bad gate read or complete re-read, is also a problem for iPhone X users.

Here’s what I have found so far.

  • Not Working: Suica Notifications for Transit, Recharge, Transactions
  • Working: User set Suica Reminders for low balance and commuter pass renewal
  • Suica Help Mode, device restart, deleting and re-adding Suica in Wallet does not solve the problem
  • Apple Pay Suica works normally with all transactions correctly logged in Wallet.

I’ll post any updates and workarounds here.


iOS 11.2 Update and Apple Pay Suica Issues (U)

Every iOS update seems to affect Apple Pay Suica performance. For me iOS 11 still does not match the rock solid Suica performance of iOS 10.3.x. The iOS 11.2 update went smoothly for the first few days, then Apple Pay Suica notifications (shown below) stopped working just about the time that Apple Pay Cash went live in the USA.

Apple Pay Suica Lock Screen Notification 2

Apple Pay Suica still works fine but none of the iOS 10 workarounds to revive Suica Notifications work anymore: Suica Help Mode +Restart, delete and reinstall Suica in Wallet, etc.

I also notice that after updating to iOS 11.2,  iPhone X occasionally experiences “gate flicker”: the station gate flashes red for a fraction of a second then clears. The last time I experienced gate flicker was the iOS 10.1 rollout of Apple Pay Suica service in October 2016. I guess that means performance has regressed a bit and suspect it is connected to the NFC-F timing issue in the earlier JR East store reader error notice.

Some Japanese twitter users have complained about sluggish iOS 11.2 Apple Pay Suica performance but fortunately and the dead Suica notification problem appears to be widespread an edge case: me and the other guy on Twitter.

Hopefully Apple Pay Suica performance will get a proper tune-up in the next iOS 11 update.

PASPY Transit Network Adding Suica Compatibility


The Hiroshima area PASPY transit network website announced Suica and major transit IC card compatibility arriving “this spring” which can mean anytime between January 1 to April 1. Service startup details will be announced later.

Apple Pay Suica compatibility will be a major convenience for iPhone users living in the PASPY transit area.

Apple Pay Adds Docomo Prepaid d CARD (U)

Docomo d Card PrepaidApple Pay Japan added NTT Docomo’s Prepaid d CARD issued by Sumitomo Mitsu Bank to the lineup today along with the obligatory launch campaign: ¥1,000 for signing up plus another ¥500 for using it. Not bad.

This joins KDDI’s au Wallet as the 2nd prepaid card on Apple Pay Japan. Both d Card and au Wallet prepaid cards are under the Mastercard network and there are unconfirmed reports that au Wallet uses the NFC switching feature of iOS 11 and Mastercard Contactless with iPhone X, iPhone 8 and Apple Watch 3 for domestic and international Apple Pay use.

Sumitomo Mitsubishi Bank support states that d Card Prepaid can only be used by Apple Pay in Japan and Docomo has not yet added iPhone support to their iD/NFC overseas service. Prepaid cards have other limitations and cannot be used at gas stations, for monthly utility payments and the like, but are good for Apple Pay Suica Recharge.

au Wallet uses the QUICPay+ network which clearly lists the stores that accept it. d Card Prepaid uses the Docomo iD network which is less clear: you will not find a iD Prepaid logo at the checkout NFC reader. Sumitomo Mitsui d Card support lists limitations in Japanese.

11-28-2017 : added more limitation details based on reader feedback