Using Suica on iPhone or Apple Watch in Japan

Travelling on public transport and paying in shops has never been easier or more convenient. Learn where and how to pay with Suica on your iPhone and Apple Watch.

To use Suica with Apple Pay, you need an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus or later, or an Apple Watch Series 3 or later. You can also use an iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus or Apple Watch Series 2 that was purchased in Japan. Learn how to set up your Suica card in Apple Pay.

Using your Suica card for travel

You can use Suica with Apple Pay for travel anywhere you can use a physical Suica card or where interoperable IC cards are accepted. If your Suica card is set as your Express Travel card, simply hold the top of your iPhone or Apple Watch within a few centimetres of the ticket gate scanner when you enter and exit. Your iPhone or Apple Watch must be turned on, but it doesn't have to be connected to a network. You don't need to wake or unlock your device or open an app when you enter or exit the ticket gates. You'll see Done and a tick on the display.

On your compatible iPhone with the latest iOS version, Express Cards with power reserve might be available for up to five hours when your iPhone needs to be charged, depending on your device. You can press the side button to check if Express Cards are available when your iPhone needs to be charged. Doing this often may significantly reduce or fully deplete the power reserve for Express Cards. If you choose to power off your iPhone, this feature will not be available.

How to pay for travel with Suica

If your Suica card isn't set up for Express Travel, you need to use Face ID or Touch ID when you enter or exit the ticket gates. On Apple Watch, double click the side button to access your cards, and swipe to select your Suica card. Then, hold the display up to the ticket gate scanner when you enter and exit.

You might need to have a station agent service your Suica card in Apple Pay. If you do, put your device into Service Mode before you hand it to the station agent:

  • On your iPhone, open Wallet, select your Suica card, tap the more button , then open Service Mode.
  • For your Apple Watch, remove it from your wrist, enter the passcode to unlock it, and double click the side button. Then, select your Suica card, firmly press the screen, tap Service Mode, and ask the station agent to hold your Watch with the display facing down.

Change your Express Travel Suica card

The first Suica card that you add to Wallet is your Express Travel card. If you add more Suica cards and want to change your Express Travel card, follow these steps.

iPhone

  1. Go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay.
  2. Tap Express Travel Card, choose a new Suica card, then authorise with Face ID, Touch ID or passcode.

Apple Watch

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to the My Watch tab, then tap Wallet & Apple Pay > Express Travel Card.
  3. Choose a new card, then authorise by entering your passcode on your Apple Watch.

Using your Suica card in shops

Shops that accept Suica display the Suica payment mark.

Suica payment mark

You might need to select the Suica option on the terminal when you pay, or let the sales assistant know that you are paying with Suica.

If your Suica card is set as your Express Travel card, simply hold the top of your iPhone or the display of your Apple Watch within a few centimetres of the contactless reader until you see Done and a tick on the display. You don't need to wake or unlock your device or open an app to make the purchase.

On your compatible iPhone with the latest iOS version, Express Cards with power reserve are available for up to five hours when your iPhone needs to be charged. You can press the side button to check if Express Cards are available when your iPhone needs to be charged. Doing this often may significantly reduce the power reserve for Express Cards. If you choose to power off your iPhone, this feature will not be available.

If your Suica card isn't set as your Express Travel card but is set as your default payment card:

  • On your iPhone, use Face ID or rest your finger on Touch ID and hold the top of your phone within a few centimetres of the contactless reader until you see Done and a tick on the display.
  • On Apple Watch, double click the side button and hold the display within a few centimetres of the contactless reader.

If your Suica card isn't set as your default payment card:

  • On your iPhone X or later, double click the side button. On your iPhone 8 or earlier, hold the top of your phone near the contactless reader without resting your finger on Touch ID. When your default card appears, tap it, then tap the one that you want to use. To pay, use Face ID or rest your finger on Touch ID and hold the top of your phone within a few centimetres of the contactless reader until you see Done and a tick on the display.
  • On your Apple Watch, double click the side button to access your cards in Apple Pay, then swipe to select your Suica card. To pay, hold the display of your Apple Watch within a few centimetres of the contactless reader.

Check the balance on your Suica card

On your iPhone, open Wallet, then tap your Suica card. Your current balance is displayed.

On your Apple Watch, open Wallet, tap your Suica card, and scroll down using the digital crown to see your current balance.

How to check your Suica card balance

If your Suica card balance doesn't update

  1. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap your Suica travel card, then tap the more button More info.
  3. Turn on Service Mode, then authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID or your passcode.

To turn off Service Mode, tap on the card. If your balance is still incorrect, restart your iPhone.

Recharge your Suica

To add money to your Suica, set up a supported credit or prepaid card in Apple Pay.

On your iPhone, open Wallet, tap the Suica card you want to add money to. Tap the more button , tap Add Money, then choose the amount, and tap “Add”. Select the card you want to pay from and use Face ID or place your finger on Touch ID to complete the transaction.

On your Apple Watch:

  1. Open Wallet.
  2. Tap Suica card.
  3. Tap Add Money, then follow the instructions on the screen.

Before you start your trip, make sure that you have enough money on your Suica card in Apple Pay for the entire journey. Or make sure that you have a credit or prepaid card in Apple Pay that you can use to pay the fare. Also, make sure your battery has enough charge to last the entire journey.

Use the Suica app

When you download the Suica app, you can use it for additional services on your card. For example, you can:

  • Create a new Suica card
  • Create or change your commute plan
  • Buy a Shinkansen or Green Car ticket*
  • Set up auto-reload (using a View Card only)
  • Set or change the notifications that you get from JR East

* You can buy Shinkansen tickets for Tohoku, Yamagata, Akita, Hokkaido, Joetsu and Hokuriku Shinkansens. You can buy Green Car tickets for JR East trains only.

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