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JR East hit by system failure with app; card payments disrupted

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37 Comments
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Does anyone know if they let people through without paying?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Suica and Pasmo are both incredibly outdated in 2023. What they need to do is install contactless readers on the turnstiles so people can pay with credit cards. This is how people are doing it in London and in many other parts of the modern world.

Japan is opting to prop up its inferior domestic competition because as soon as contactless is accepted on a wide enough scale, all these IT engineers who work for Suica and PayPay will be out of a job. But in reality these entities eventually need to shift their corporate strategy or risk being left in the dust.

-19 ( +5 / -24 )

nice.again.real "high tech" are we going to worry abt AI here?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

You should always carry some cash with you to cope with system failures, especially when you’re living in countries like Japan where natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes are frequent.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

So typical of companies uneducated in IT to have a single server and a single source of failure. This is so preventable with the right systems in place.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

JR adopt that from service level Japanese bank?

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/08/20/business/corporate-business/mizuho-outage-criticism/

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Simple, always use cash.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Simple, always use cash.

You obviously don't livei a big city here. Not practical since very few manual ticket machines now or ticket gates that take tickets. You stuck with no choice but having to use their proprietary FeliCa system.

It's more like why the hell wasn't there a backup server?? This is crazy and heads should role. If happened on a weekday during rush time there would have been absolute chaos.

Not to mention that the PASMO / Suica apps suck and are extremely slow/heavy/buggy.

At least we can use Apple Pay / Google Pay. I might swap over to the NFC payment system.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I still use a Suica card. I don't trust swiping it while its inside my wallet or in my phone case either. Just the card itself. I fear that it won't work or the magnetism will fade if its amongst all the other cards. I worry that there will be a huge line of people behind me, waiting for me to take my card out because it didn't work. Its happened before. So I just swipe the card itself.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

All the more reason to not be too over-reliant on technology, such as this up-and-coming AI stuff.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

A 38-year-old beautician from Saitama Prefecture, neighboring Tokyo, said, "I hope they don't allow for this kind of thing to happen (again)," after he could not reissue his commuter pass

Dodgy translation notwithstanding, it is plain to see that the transport companies are forcing their customers to use online systems to buy their tickets.

When this technology screws up then there aren’t any alternatives

Whole systems shutting down just because there isn’t a plan B

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Sheesh, the most efficient system on the planet has a once-in-a-decade glitch. The end of the world.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

That problems happen may not be so serious if they are rare enough, but unfortunately in Japan it frequently happens that systems are left in the same condition (or worse, "repaired" and left with even more bugs) even after serious disruptions.

Hopefully this is not the case for this, but it is difficult to be optimistic.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The problem is not the app. It is much deeper than that. JR is horrible. Everything they do, from removing seating, reducing trains, raising prices is designed to gouge and inconvenience commuters. Of course their app / payment system failed. They removed rubbish bins for drinks to be recycled but still sell drinks with machines that accept their payment systems but wonder why there is litter. Kishida should hold an intervention with JR because it is fundamentally rotten to the core.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

But what about paper money.....? You know, the stuff you could actually use by HAND. Sometimes, we do need to go old school.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

wolfshineToday  07:50 am JST

Suica and Pasmo are both incredibly outdated in 2023. What they need to do is install contactless readers on the turnstiles so people can pay with credit cards. This is how people are doing it in London and in many other parts of the modern world.

And what if you don't want to use a Credit card? Denied a credit card? are you actually see credit cards as what they really are... DEBT CARDS? and thats why people in London/USA complain about their debt levels. You may be ok with credit, many people are not able to control their spending. Especially with the cost of living in the UK right now.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

This system manages millions of passengers per day across Japan, for years and 1 hiccup brings out complaints and the how to tech better aficionados.

Suica is now JRs most profitable business and all other options considered it was before its time - obviously some of you folks never stood in line for a ticket in the 80s and 90s.

HW fails and so does planning for all scenarios otherwise known as it happens.

Credit card Suica and Pasmo have been available for years. Even iPhones work.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Windows XP update did it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And what if you don't want to use a Credit card? Denied a credit card? are you actually see credit cards as what they really are... DEBT CARDS?

That's not how it works here. Even the app that you connect the pass to through their app uses your credit card. Unless you keep charging it by hand (have to go to the station officer and ask them to do it, or find one of very few machines that allow you to use cash to charge it.

Also most Japanese people pay they credit cards off in full at the end of the month. It is set to automatically come out of your account each month by default. So no interest paid.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I use JR as little as possible due to their contrived manipulation of their customers

Forced to stand out in line to buy a single use ticket due to two machines intentionally taken out of service-JR hopes we will buy their pass and give them credit.

Well no.

I just use other modes of transport

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

kurisupisu

you can buy your JR tickets from the little ticket shop near the entrance to Sannomiya. Cheaper if going west.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Complaints of the wise people get philosophic here, tearing through human nature, cultural habits and technology including the all-purpose culprit AI. Don't things in your own home break down once in a while?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

¥ is still King.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's only gonna get worst.

JR uses an outdated language in their system, COBOL.

There are no replacements for the hardware anymore.

And the veterans that really know how to do the job are getting too old.

Next system outrage in 3, 2, 1

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Are you kidding? COBOL is still used in banking, finance, insurance, government worldwide for mission critical operations because of its reliability. And it is platform independent. Good grief.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Are you kidding? COBOL is still used in banking, finance, insurance, government worldwide for mission critical operations because of its reliability. And it is platform independent. Good grief.

He has a point though. Regardless of its durability, you don't see waves of young talent flocking to it. If nobody can support it as new vulnerabilities arise, then yeh, it's pretty much useless.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" doesn't really apply in software, because eventually, someone will inevitably find a way to break it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Welp! This is like the banking glitches, train edition. I wonder if they'll take this opportunity to improve upon their current systems...probably not.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I use ICOCA card for local JR trains and subways but not much else, everything else paid by cash except online buys of course, lol

The powers that be what digital currency which they can turn off anytime for someone, oh yeah, already happens in some countries you see.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Roy

I don’t have conspiracy fantasies, that’s generally for rude people who think they are cleverer than they are, lol

Bank accounts and credit cards can be frozen at any time in many countries and that is easiest to do without physical money in circulation. Happens in U.K., Europe and Canada to name a few.

All facts, no conspiracies involved amd easy to find the info, well for someone with at least average intelligence. anyway.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

He has a point though. Regardless of its durability, you don't see waves of young talent flocking to it. If nobody can support it as new vulnerabilities arise, then yeh, it's pretty much useless.

Most of the original COBOL programmers are reaching retirement so new ones are actually being trained.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Roy

Nope, they don’t need a court order anymore in many countries, just suspicion of money laundering or such and they can freeze your assets for 1 month max while they investigate you and if no charges they unfreeze.

The suspicion can be raised by the bank or credit card company with zero evidence. I know this for a fact as it happened to my father.

The suspicion can be unfounded and without any basis, please see link

https://www.which.co.uk/news/article/why-banks-are-freezing-accounts-and-what-to-do-if-it-happens-to-you-aPXrh7F1YCx1

Is this the kind of world you ant to live in?

In Japan this nonsense hasn’t happened, yet!!!!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Roy

You carefully chose to ignore the link where it can be done maliciously or in error and the victim has no recourse.

Many alternatives to this, my favourite one is always having cash and thing of value I can sell for cash

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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