Apple Pay transit cards (Suica, PASMO, and ICOCA) and e-Money cards (WAON and nanaco) are different from Apple Pay payment cards in that a transit or e-Money card prepaid stored value, the card balance, is stored locally on the card itself and can only exist on a single device. Apple Pay credit/debit cards coexist simultaneously on multiple devices, not Suica, PASMO, ICOCA and other transit cards like Octopus, Clipper, SmarTrip, TAP, or e-Money cards like nanaco and WAON.
These stored value cards have to be removed from the old iPhone first, then transferred to the new iPhone. There are 2 ways to transfer cards: automatic transfer with iOS 17 Setup Assistant and manual transfer with Wallet app.
Automatic card transfer with iOS 17 Quick Start Setup Assistant
Quick Start device to device data transfer is the best way to setup a new iPhone, and iOS 17 Set Assistant now automatically transfers all payment, transit and e-Money cards from the old iPhone to the new iPhone. It is very easy to do and highly recommended.
The Apple support page Add a Suica, PASMO, or ICOCA card to Apple Wallet is updated for iOS 17 and covers moving cards in the Transfer your transit Suica, PASMO, or ICOCA card between devices section.
Place the previous iPhone near the new iPhone. iOS 17 Setup Assistant has a new Wallet section that lets you select Wallet cards to transfer in the ‘Make This Your New iPhone’ splash screen. Either select the Wallet items you want to transfer or just leave it all up to Set Assistant. Setup Assistant automatically transfers Wallet items to the new iPhone. As always, make sure all devices have a good internet connection.
The Suica 2 step: manual card transfer in Wallet app
Users can do the traditional Suica 2 step of manually removing cards from the previous iPhone Wallet app before adding them in the new iPhone Wallet app.
Step 1: Remove Suica from Wallet on the previous iPhone
On the old iPhone go to Wallet > tap Suica or other transit card > tap ‘More’ ˚˚˚ in the upper right corner > scroll to the bottom > tap Remove This Card. Don’t worry, this does not delete the card. Apple Pay automatically migrates and safely stores the card on Apple Pay iCloud for you.
- Step 2: Add card in Wallet on the new iPhone
On the new iPhone make sure you are signed in with the same Apple ID, open Wallet and tap Add Card “+”
Tap Previous Cards > confirm the Suica or transit card you want to add is selected > tap Continue
The registered card name and balance will be showing in the Add Card screen
Tap Next to add the card to Wallet or tap Add This Card to Wallet Later to cancel
- Transfer Suica from previous Apple Watch to new Apple Watch
Apple Watch Suica users upgrading to a new Apple Watch is easy with watchOS 10. From the Set up your Apple Watch • Set up as new or restore from a backup section: If you’ve set up another Apple Watch with your current iPhone, a screen appears that says Make This Your New Apple Watch. Tap Apps & Data and Settings to see how Express Setup will configure your new watch. Then tap Continue. If you want to choose how your new watch is set up, tap Customize Settings. Then choose a backup from another previous Apple Watch to restore.
- You can also add cards manually in Wallet as outlined in the previous iPhone section.
What about Suica App and other card apps?
If your Suica, PASMO, ICOCA or e-Money card is registered in the coressponding app, your account and password information will migrate to the new device like any regular iOS app when using device to device data transfer. The apps will automatically pick up the card information from Wallet but you will need to login to access the card app account. If you deleted the app before device to device data transfer, you will need to manually enter account and password information to login when re-adding the app. See the Suica App and PASMO App guide for account setup details.
e-Money card apps ask for the Japanese mobile number used for registering the card in the app and send a verification code via SMS.
Wiped old iPhone before setting up new iPhone
If you wiped the old iPhone before setting up a new one and cannot find your previous Suica Wallet card see: Recover Suica • PASMO and e-Money cards from a lost or wiped iPhone. Other topics can be found on the Apple Pay Suica • PASMO Guide.
Robust network connection is extremely important!
Make sure iPhone has a good WiFi or 4G/5G network connection and confirm you are outside of the 2am~4am JST Mobile Suica • Mobile PASMO system maintenance window. Do not use free WiFi or carrier auto-connect WiFi, they are notoriously unreliable. Don’t worry about losing your card SF account balance or commute plan information. Apple Pay iCloud and the Suica • PASMO systems preserve all of your card information. Just make sure that you are signed in with the same Apple ID on your new iPhone and Apple Pay is turned on. Remember that even a good WiFi network connection can quickly bog down when setting up a new iPhone, make sure you have a clean connection when adding Wallet cards.
Suica, PASMO, ICOCA card ID number changes
The Suica or PASMO card ID number may change when transferred to a new iPhone or Apple Watch Wallet. Linked services like EX App (smartEX and Express Reservation), Touch and Go Shinkansen and JR East Ekinet Shinkansen eTickets stop working when the Suica, PASMO, ICOCA ID number changes and users must manually update information with each linked service account to re-link services with the new ID #. For Suica and PASMO getting full ID number requires a transit card issuer app such as Suica or PASMO app, ICOCA displays the full ID number in Wallet card details.