Traveling Around Tokyo Gets Easier as PASMO is Now Available on iOS


If you’ve been to Tokyo, or even Japan for that matter in the last 15 years or so, you would notice that not many people use physical tickets for the trains and bus systems anymore, rather they use a card with an IC chip embedded which stores all of their money. This was part of a project that rolled out in Tokyo in 2001 with SuiCa which can be used interchangeably with a number of other contactless IC payments throughout all of Japan. Trains and buses are not the only things that the card can be used on because honestly without any exaggeration, the card can be used practically anywhere within Tokyo.


Then in 2007, a competitor card which also offered interchangeability with the SuiCa system was unveiled under the name of PASMO. Because SuiCa was developed for the JR EAST lines, other lines did not have their own contactless payment system and had to pay royalties to JR EAST to offer the SuiCa service. The one thing is, however, where SuiCa is a more popular card due to the sheer number of riders that use the JR EAST service each day, the PASMO card is actually a more robust card as it is usable at a number of locations online as well.

When the iPhone 7 launched in Japan, SuiCa support came along with the device, but PASMO was strangely absent. Then the release of the next 4 years of iOS devices came and the PASMO service was still not present. In April of this year, the PASMO service was made available on Android devices but again, iOS devices were nowhere to be seen. Then thanks to some sort of miracle at the beginning of August, the PASMO company announced that iOS support would be coming within the year 2020 with no other information given.

Apple Wallet PASMO

On October 1st, the PASMO company announced that PASMO service would be coming to the iPhone line of devices on October 6th and it even supports commuter passes just like the SuiCa service does. It truly is a great day that I no longer have to carry around a physical card to tap on the reader each time I ride the train.


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