If you live in Japan and have watched with envy as the rest of the world takes advantage of Apple Pay, then today is your day after the cashless, contactless mobile payment system launched in the country for the first time following the release of iOS 10.1 this morning.
The new software, which is a free download for all devices that support it, brings support for Apple Pay in a region that has been surprisingly slow to adopt it.
Apple Pay users in Japan will be able to use their iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus to pay for goods and services anywhere that accepts the Suica prepaid money card, QuicPay, or iD.
What makes things particularly interesting in Japan is that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus also support the FeliCa standard, which is already present in the country, which also means that anyone with an older device will be unable to take advantage of Apple Pay other than to use it to pay via websites or apps.It’s an interesting twist, and one that may aid adoption of new iPhones in Japan, at least.
The newly-released Apple Watch Series 2 also sports a FeliCa chip, meaning the wearable can be used to pay in much the same way as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
At launch, Apple Pay in Japan is supported by a host of debit and credit card providers, with American Express, JCB, MasterCard, Aeon Financial, Orico, Credit Saison, SoftBank, d Card, View Card, MUFG Card, and yet more, all taking advantage of the Apple Pay rollout.
Just a couple weeks ago, the contactless payment service made its way to New Zealand in collaboration with ANZ Bank. Today’s Japanese Apple Pay rollout brings the total number of countries in which it is supported to twelve, with the U.S., UK, China, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, New Zealand, and now Japan all allowing Apple Pay transactions.
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