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Rivals dash to support Apple Pay for fear of losing out

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There is one thing missing from Apple Pay: support for FeliCa compatible NFC payments of the type used by Mobile Suica and Rakuten Edy in Japan. However, I do expect an update to Apple Pay that will add these payment types by early 2015.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Raymond: I wouldn't be so sure about support for Suica and Edy. Apple are very reluctant to support anything that they don't control; they are similar to Sony in that respect. For example, their iTunes software only supports an extremely limited set of file formats; their "office" software doesn't support open file formats; the iPad doesn't even have a USB port: you have to use Apple's proprietary sockets, paying them for the privilege.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Its really not about Japan at all though... Japan has always been known to focus on its own home grown systems and hardware. Heck... I used to have to travel to Akasaka if I wanted to use my U.S. Cash card... but I had no problem in China getting cash at ATM Machines.. same with Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia... pretty much everywhere else. I doubt very much that Apple will try to force any Japanese companies to join. Not like they'd listen anyway... with the Japanese... you don't ask... you wait till they come to you.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

who uses rakuten edy?!?! the problem with japan is that there are actually too many payment systems, most of which use IC chips. so if you lose your card or something, you basically lost all the money on it. but with apple and NFC, the ID sensor will prevent people from using your phone and abusing the NFC. that's the biggest advantage that apple has, and i see this will be the difference maker. japan will def come around to this.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@rickyvee

" if you lose your card or something"

->WTF!!! what are you talking about? "Garake" mobiles have NFC from 10 years ago or more, you don't need any card to pay in Japan. I really wanted Apple Japan include this system in iPhone 6 or 6 Plus...

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

who uses rakuten edy?

I use my Edy basically every day. I definitely use either my Edy or Suica every day.

so if you lose your card or something

Apple Pay is no different than the Felica-based payment systems in Japan that have been in place for 10 years. If you have a phone you bought in Japan in the past 10 years, you much more likely than not can use this same technology right now.

Oh, except if you have an iPhone. Horribly behind the times in Japan (no NFC, no waterproof, no Onseg, etc).

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@debittoo

->WTF!!! what are you talking about? "Garake" mobiles have NFC from 10 years ago or more, you don't need any card to pay in Japan. I really wanted Apple Japan include this system in iPhone 6 or 6 Plus...

Actually, rickyvee was 100% correct in what he said ("if you lose your card or something, you basically lost all the money on it"). You mentioned you don't need any card to pay in Japan and it left me wondering if we were living in the same "Japan". I've worked in Tokyo 6 years and the first thing that surprised me was that you couldn't use a debit card to pay for anything. On top of that, only recently have you been able to pay by credit at the supermarket. Even in a country as technologically-backwards as Australia (where I'm from), paying for daily items by debit is the norm. Japan will always be very much a cash-based society.

rickyvee also touched on there being too many proprietary payment technologies in Japan - and he's right. It's a mess - basically choose your 'team' and see what works best for you. The point you seem to be missing is that Apple Pay puts the ball in the merchant's court - not the user. As it's mostly software based, and all new iPhones come with the Secure Element chip, it's up to the merchant to have the system in place. The chip is only responsible for arranging the transaction - not storing credit / transaction data.

It is this "Garake" mobiles have NFC from 10 years ago or more complacency that has forced Japan out of the innovation realm. Look at Sony - how many proprietary formats have they produced? MiniDisc? MagicGate? Felica? DRM?!?! As I've mentioned previously, it's the shift away from hardware to software that has seen the real innovation take place. In other words, Apple Pay supports a variety of payment options through one channel - not one proprietary format on one piece of hardware.

Japan Inc's stubbornness & reluctancy towards open formats will be its eventual downfall if changes are not made. This is the reality of the situation. When did Sony last turn a profit? Toshiba just laid off another 900 staff. Panasonic pulled out of the smartphone market after only 6 months. Sharp have had thousands of lay offs and closed factories. Seeing a trend here, debittoo?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There's a major component in the Apple Pay that will make Japan adopt it fast: the tourists coming to the 2020 Olympics.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Apple Pay would probably not be compatible to Suica or EDY since basically it's just a hand shaker between the card issuer and place of purchase in which Apple Pay device sends the ID information with the amount to pay and vendor information to their own data base in which then verifies ID and then sends relivant card information amount of payment and vendor to the card issuer. The device only stores the ID key while Apple Pay data base stores both ID information and card information. All Felica card money issuers does both roles of verifer and card issuer so there is no use to add Apple Pay in.

By the way a Debit card issued outside the nation you have an account would probably not work since the money within the account is in your own country's currency so there would be a problem of exchange rate and transaction fee. It's more of a scope of service provided by the debit card issuer and nothing to do with local commerce practice.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@SamuraiBlue

By the way a Debit card issued outside the nation you have an account would probably not work since the money within the account is in your own country's currency so there would be a problem of exchange rate and transaction fee. It's more of a scope of service provided by the debit card issuer and nothing to do with local commerce practice.

There seems to be some misunderstanding here - possibly I wasn't clear in my explanation. I was referring to there not being any debit card facilities in Japan provided by Japanese banks OR merchants. I have bank accounts here, as well as abroad, and Japanese banking is an absolute ordeal in comparison - especially in the online banking realm. That argument is for another day, though.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Strange since my debit card that is issued by VISA card works fine.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan will adopt it, sooner or later, wether through existing nfc terminals or new ones The iphone has a big market share here I can see me using the iPhone or Apple watch on the train gate or using at 7/11

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I've worked in Tokyo 6 years and the first thing that surprised me was that you couldn't use a debit card to pay for anything. On top of that, only recently have you been able to pay by credit at the supermarket.

Why the heck do you need to pay with a debit card? Your credit card is linked with your bank and is paid off in full every month unless you specifically request otherwise. How is that functionally different than a debit card?

Wait - it's actually better: If someone steals your card and uses it, your account is not hit. With a debit card, it is. Sure you can get it back (depending on your bank's terms) but in that time you don't have that money, your bills could bounce, etc. Credit is much much much safer in this respect.

Credit cards are almost everywhere now and have been for years and years. On top of that NFC payments have also been everywhere for years and years. Your phone, linked to your credit card, including your teiki, all right there. Simple. Not new.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If the iPhone 6's Apple Pay can be made to be compatible with the Osaifu-Keitai NFC payment system (which I expect it will with an sub-version update to iOS 8.0), then people can use the iPhone 6 in Japan to make payments for transit tickets or buy goods at a konbini like they do now with garakei phones and some Android phones. Since Mobile Suica, Rakuten Edy, and Seven & i's nanaco use the Osaifu-Keitai NFC payment standard, once Apple Pay is compatible, that phone is going to really flying out the door of Apple retailers in Japan.

(By the way, from what I've read about Apple Pay, when you open up Passbook you see multiple folders for the various payment types just like you see the number of debit/credit cards in your wallet. It's possible that Osaifu-Keitai compatible payment systems will have their own separate payment type that will make payments in the method now used, not the high-security token-based system that requires the use of Touch ID like Apple Pay now has in the USA.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Credit cards are almost everywhere now and have been for years and years.

???! No they havent! Even in the middle of tokyo if you go outside the big name stores to the little mom and pop shops you havent a hope, and still ATMs everywhere saying "Japanese issued visa/mastercards only".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Scrote: "Apple are very reluctant to support anything that they don't control;"

Substitute "Apple" with "Japan" and you're bang on; especially if you add "sore losers" when technology they created some time ago is reinvented, safer, more efficient, and made popular by someone else (and I'm guessing you read the article about the inventors of the tech here whining about how they cannot call Apple up on the tech).

Dabitooo: Yes, Japan has been using a similar tech for years now, but show me one single shop outside Japan where you can use it. And your comment that in Japan you don't need a card to pay in Japan has a ring of truth to it if you point out that you DO very much still need to carry loads of cash. The keitai saifu system here is usable next to nowhere, I'm sorry to say. I'm curious to see if Japanese vendors will support the Apple system or get all defensive and protectionist and not allow it, insisting on upgraded Japanese tech that will go nowhere in terms of competition.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Would-be Apple-Pay users in Japan will just be frustrated for a long time. Japan Felica-NFC, in order to be operable, one must have valid address in Japan and should ONLY be linked in banks or credit cards based in Japan.

All Felica-based in Japan are already usable to many shops. My Ponta Credit Card, since two years ago is connected to SHELL GAS stand. My T-Card is usable to Family Mart and several shops. My Wallmar American Credit Card is tied-up to SEIYU. My WAON/AEON Card is tied-up to several shops. All these above-mentioned 4 cards is all I need every day because the point/payment system in the cash-register have these 4 cards buttons these days. Of course, not to be outdone is my PASSMO CARD (I choose not to link this to my credit/bank account).

Other than PASSMO, all my cards are acquiring and accumulating points with equivalent MONETARY UNIT. So even if APPLE-PAY will be around here in JAPAN, I have no interest of getting one.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

AU-user: So you're saying it's better to carry around five cards and a load of cash (because, NO, you cannot use the card in 'many shops' -- only in major chains), and even those can ONLY be used in Japan and only if you are using Japan-only based cards? I think you've proven the point of why Apple Pay is the better choice and Japan Felica-NFC so far behind the times (and angry about it).

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I used to carry 12 cards. SOme cards are now linked with each other. I am not after for payment. I am after for the points accumulated. If I used my Wallmart Amex Card every 5th and 20th of the month, all purchases are 8% discount and another 5% worth cash-back in terms of points. My Airline Mileage card is increasing even though I have not traveled by air for 14 months already by just using one of these 4 cards.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and still ATMs everywhere saying "Japanese issued visa/mastercards only"

Eh? Why would that be unusual in Japan? Are you talking about banking for tourists?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The usage of myy credit card linked to AEON/WAON just grew bigger this morning. AEON announced that they bought the Mall-Department store giant DAIEI.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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