UPDATE 11/24: Apple pulled the Apple Pay VISA JP rollout. After showing in Wallet over 18 hours or so, VISA disappeared from the add card animation lineup around 6 pm JST. Somebody at Apple uploaded a new JSON payload to Apple Pay servers too soon. With a gaff this big at least we know VISA support is coming to Apple Pay Japan very soon. I am leaving the original post below for now and will post something new with the official launch.
Japanese credit card otaku tweeted late last night that the Apple Pay Wallet animation started displaying VISA, which it never did until now. Sure enough, a VISA does display in the add card animation for the Apple Pay Japan region on iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad. Wallet only displays supported card brands for the selected Apple Pay region so the change means VISA JP is officially on board.
The trouble is we don’t know what that means without a press release from VISA Japan, Apple, or Japanese card issuers. So far we don’t have one. All we have are 2 questions that will hopefully be answered later today or the next few days.
Does it mean current iD/QUICPay VISA cards in Wallet fully support Apple Pay features?
A quick check adding a digital Kyash VISA prepaid card to my Wallet did not show anything new, just the same limitations: no VISA logo, no In App (Suica recharge) or web purchase support, no EMV/FeliCa dual mode. That doesn’t mean anything by itself: virtual Kyash VISA has limitations but it may be different for major ‘real card’ VISA issuers like SMBC and MUFJ.
Does it mean that Apple Pay is simply matching the EMV only VISA Touch cards already on Google Pay from Sony Bank and others?
This seems more likely but also flies in the face of Apple Pay Japan encouraging ‘it just works anywhere’ dual mode EMV/FeliCa support for Wallet issue. If we don’t get announcements from VISA Japan or Apple, it could be a slow dribble of VISA Touch announcements from VISA JP card issuers, not much fun.
What I really want to know is: did VISA Japan blink, or Apple? I’ll update this post as details come in.