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Visa has announced that starting today, customers in Japan will be able to use their Visa debit or credit card with Apple Pay.

visa-apple-pay-japan.jpg

Customers with Visa cards issued by Aplus, SMBC Finance Service, NTT DoCoMo, Credit Saison, JACCS, Mitsui Sumitomo Bank Card, and Rakuten cards will be able to add their card to their Wallet on iPhone and Apple Watch.



Japan has set an ambitious goal of achieving 40% of all daily transactions via digital, cashless methods by 2025. With expanded support for Visa cards, more customers will have access to the ease and convenience of Apple Pay, which should help the country move towards its goal within the next four years.

Apple Pay earlier last week launched in Israel, and in Feburary made its long-awaited debut in Mexico.

Article Link: Visa Launches Apple Pay Support in Japan
 
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TakeshimaIslands

macrumors member
Feb 28, 2020
72
113
Most Japanese customers still prefer cash over over types of payment

Which is even more bizarre because Japan was the pioneer in 'cashless' payments.
Sony developed 'FeliCa' the first RFID cashless payment card system in the early 90s.
Japanese cellphones also had contactless payment abilities in the early 00's over a decade before Apple pay.

This is where the US inc /Apple always have the upper hand compered to Japan inc, Japanese companies might be the first to innovate and market amazing new IP's but the west always has huge success in making huge profits in mass marketing, gaining astroturfed mind share and saturation point adaptation of new innovations...
 

bwayne

macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2021
136
143
I have a Visa credit card installed in the Wallet app, I use it both on my iPhone 12 and my Apple Watch 4 at any store with the “iD” logo.
so far it wasn’t compatible with Apple Pay.

What would be the differences if you use Apple Pay? I don’t quite understand it.
Thank you!
I have American Express, Visa, and Suica in the wallet too. Works fantastic. iD is a multi card aggregator so it accepts a number of cards. I think the big upside with Apple Pay will be online shopping and sending money to other people via iMessage I hope…
 

samwa3

macrumors regular
Dec 5, 2018
125
63
Germany
Does that mean now also "regular" contactless technology like in other countries is supported in Japan with Visa cards? Because with iD / QUICPay that was already possible with Visa cards, right? (I only have Mastercard iD card in my Wallet App.)

Edit: Yep on the linked page from Visa it says that it also works abroad with "Visa contactless functionality" so that's probably what it means. Interesting.
 

scuac

macrumors regular
Mar 2, 2008
185
236
I was very surprised when I traveled there a couple of years ago and couldn't use Apple pay. They do have NFC readers almost everywhere.
 

SactoGuy18

macrumors 68040
Sep 11, 2006
3,543
819
Sacramento, CA USA
This was why in 2016, Apple produced a special versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus that had full FeliCa RFID functionality so they could be used on IC card payment systems like Mobile Suica. That functionality became worldwide in 2017 with the iPhone 8/8 Plus/X models.
 

redmounts

macrumors newbie
Nov 12, 2012
12
5
There’s a reason why Japanese people don’t use cards that much: it’s notorious that the financial law doesn’t support any kind of loss, fraud or theft that may occur to one’s card. There are cases of cards proven to be cloned and the owners were not refunded by the banks, even after long legal battles.
Secondly, I am surprised that only now Visa is supporting Apple Pay, given that Japan has such a strong market.
 

redmounts

macrumors newbie
Nov 12, 2012
12
5
Also, ubiquitous NFC technology in cellphones, like train passes, are pre charged in, also ubiquitous convenience stores. So while most westerners use Apple Pay as a credit/debit card, it’s very likely that Japanese customers will use Apple Pay only to buy credits to Felica-like cards. When they are out of cash in their wallets, that is.
 

Currawong

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2005
21
3
Fukuoka, Japan (was Australia)
Which is even more bizarre because Japan was the pioneer in 'cashless' payments.
Sony developed 'FeliCa' the first RFID cashless payment card system in the early 90s.
Japanese cellphones also had contactless payment abilities in the early 00's over a decade before Apple pay.

This is where the US inc /Apple always have the upper hand compered to Japan inc, Japanese companies might be the first to innovate and market amazing new IP's but the west always has huge success in making huge profits in mass marketing, gaining astroturfed mind share and saturation point adaptation of new innovations...

Much of the problem is that with RFID tech, immediately half a dozen or more companies came out with their own unique cards, incompatible with other services. Each train company had their own, and it was only after they all agreed to sync up that you didn't have to carry a bunch of cards just to get across Tokyo without buying tickets.

The same thing is happening again with mobile payments. In a convenience store now, you have board with a list of a dozen or more payment methods you can use through your phone or card.

I'm not sure though why this news article exists, because I've been using Apple Pay with a Rakuten card for some time in Japan.
 

4tune8chance

macrumors regular
Dec 6, 2012
123
78
Brisbane, Australia
There’s a reason why Japanese people don’t use cards that much: it’s notorious that the financial law doesn’t support any kind of loss, fraud or theft that may occur to one’s card. There are cases of cards proven to be cloned and the owners were not refunded by the banks, even after long legal battles.
Secondly, I am surprised that only now Visa is supporting Apple Pay, given that Japan has such a strong market.
Interesting, I was in Japan in 2018 and thought I stepped back in time when I had to resort to cash for just about everything. For such a modern society it certainly seems out of place.
 
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lk400

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2012
846
376
I have a Visa credit card installed in the Wallet app, I use it both on my iPhone 12 and my Apple Watch 4 at any store with the “iD” logo.
so far it wasn’t compatible with Apple Pay.

What would be the differences if you use Apple Pay? I don’t quite understand it.
Thank you!
The article is wrong.

Visa has been available with Apple Pay from day 1, however not for "online" payments. You could always use it for in-store payments (E.g. through the ID network), but not online. The big one was recharging Suica (or Starbucks etc) which presumably you now can.
 

lk400

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2012
846
376
Japan is a predominantly cash society
Not so much anymore. There was a large shift even before Covid times to use "e-wallets" / Suica etc. Dont have statistics, but for younger people (say 50 and under) it was certainly very common. During COVID, cashless/contactless has become a buzzword and apart from the older folks, I would guess we already are predominantly cashless.
 
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Zorori

macrumors regular
Nov 26, 2017
182
156
Just an FYI for anyone not familiar with Japan.

You have been able to add Visa credit/debit cards to your Apple Wallet -- if they support QuickPay, ID, various other schemes that might as well just be "PayWave/contactless payments". However, you have never been able to do in-app payments, online payments, etc via those cards.

Hopefully this means I can now top-up my Suica (rail card) via my Japanese account... I have been using my UK Amex.

And as also mentioned, Cash seems to be going away. Lots of small stores are "cash only" but anything of any size will take cards. PayPay (Yahoo's contactless payment system) has been gaining massive traction and there are so many contactless payment systems here it's nuts. My bank has their own "Resona Wallet", Line has "Line Pay", AU have "AU Pay", FamilyMart "Fami Pay", 7-11 have "Nanaco", the post office has "Yuu Pay", etc. It's absolutely insane...


Edit: Bah, still can't add my SMBC debit card :( I'll have to try my SMBC credit card when I get home.
 
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Tsubame

macrumors member
May 11, 2009
73
36
For such a modern society it certainly seems out of place.
We are a weird dichotomy about that. In certain areas we lead the field, and in other areas we could not be more behind. Fax machines are still prevalent, I still know of offices that place delivery lunch orders via fax every day. A noodle soup tried to modernize and phase out faxes once and they lost so many orders they had to immediately go back.

Even with streaming services like Netflix gaining traction, our equivalent of Blockbuster is still thriving with video and music CD (yes, music CD) rentals.

Banking is one of the areas where we are really behind. I have given up on the rudimentary internet banking we have and accepted using my bank book/cash for lots of things. Getting a credit card as a foreigner here took me years (protip: Amazon's mastercard is a lot easier for foreigners than anything else I tried), I remember paying my tuition in grad school in cash.

Thankfully it is generally safe enough that carrying thousands of dollars in cash around isn't the end of the world, but it still feels really strange. It is a LOT easier these days than say...ten years ago. Taxis all take CC now and at the very least convenience stores all accept cashless payments. Paypay in particular has seemed to make significant inroads to widespread acceptance.

Your local hole-in-the-wall izakaya probably still only takes cash though.
 

MacBH928

macrumors 604
May 17, 2008
7,261
3,120
I don't understand, I thought Visa is a form of electronic payment and so is Apple Pay. Why would I wan to use Visa inside Apple Pay? If Visa has NFC why would I want to use Apple Pay?

I get the Apple card has different offers and "privacy" but not Apple Pay and Visa

Most Japanese customers still prefer cash over over types of payment

is there a reason for this?
 

HMFIC03

macrumors 6502
Jan 19, 2011
275
301
Tokyo
Interesting, I was in Japan in 2018 and thought I stepped back in time when I had to resort to cash for just about everything. For such a modern society it certainly seems out of place.
I say that all the time.. I moved to to Japan about a month ago and thankfully with Apple Card being a MasterCard, Apple Pay has worked at about half the places I visit. 7-11's, Lawsons, COSTCO. Most the mama-sons and papa-sons places are yen only. I understand its a trust thing more than it is cost savings thing. I think because the Olympics was set to roll-out last year.. and maybe this year.. it Is moving along faster.. Thankfully Passmo our transit (train and bus) cards work from the apple wallet and are on instant NFC. seems like about 60% of people use a physical card they load at the atm -like purchase terminals. Slowly but surely things will catch up to the pace of the U.S. here.
 

Zorori

macrumors regular
Nov 26, 2017
182
156
I don't understand, I thought Visa is a form of electronic payment and so is Apple Pay. Why would I wan to use Visa inside Apple Pay? If Visa has NFC why would I want to use Apple Pay?

In Japan there are hundreds of ways of paying via NFC. So you have to state you are paying by Visa: 「クレジットカードで」(by credit card) and then the NFC reader will pickup your credit card's NFC chip. By the way, many Japanese don't understand that you can pay that way, so you can get strange reactions from the store clerks.

There's another reason, many cards have multiple ways of paying via NFC. For example, my debit and credit card both support contactless/NFC (the little Visa wave), but also a form of NFC called 'ID'. So it can't be automatic like it is elsewhere, I have to pick between the two.

Another popular NFC payment is via Suica/Pasmo. It's a rail/subway pass that you top-up, but it's one of the more popular NFC payment forms. https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/suica.html. There are many credit cards with Visa NFC and Suica...
 
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