iPhone 7 Brings Apple Pay to Japan

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Beginning next month, those with an iPhone 7, 7 Plus, or Apple Watch Series 2 in Japan can use Apple Pay.

In October, those with one of Cupertino's newest devices can make purchases in Japanese stores anywhere Suica, iD, or QUICPay is accepted, which covers "nearly two-thirds of all transactions at Japan's largest merchants," Apple says.

Prepaid Suica cards from East Japan Railway (JR East) launched nearly 15 years ago as a fare card for Japanese train lines, but are also accepted at stores and kiosks in the region. Going forward, users can buy or reload a Suica card or commuter pass on iPhone.

"For iPhone 7, we redesigned an entirely new experience from the ground up so our customers can enjoy the ease and security of using Apple Pay while commuting, in our app, and in stores with Suica," said Tetsuro Tomita, CEO of JR East.

Japan's major financial brands—including AEON, Credit Saison, JCB, Mitsubishi UFJ Nicos, Orient Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Card, Toyota Finance, UC Cards, and View Card—as well as carriers KDDI, NTT Docomo, and Softbank are also onboard.

Obviously, Apple Pay will also be accepted at Apple Stores, but you can also pay at 7-Eleven, Circle K, Family Mart, Lawson, Ministop and Sunkus, supermarkets such as AEON, APITA and PIAGO, gas stations including ENEOS and Esso Mobil General, retailers like BicCamera, Matsumoto Kiyoshi and Uniqlo, and local brands such as JapanTaxi and Sukiya.

"We are incredibly excited to bring iPhone 7 to customers in Japan so they can experience the magic of Apple Pay," company CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. "Apple Pay will transform your daily routine, from making your commute easier and more convenient than ever with Suica … to using your favorite cards to make secure and private purchases with a single touch."

The newest iPhones and Apple Watch will support the FeliCa Type-F NFC contactless technology used in Japan for mobile payments.

Also in the region, Cupertino is introducing support for local transit in Maps (right) when iOS 10 launches there next month. That will let Apple Pay users plan and pay for an entire commute (on major train, subway, ferry, and national bus lines) on their handset or timepiece. The app will also provide curated directions, making it easier to navigate Japan's extensive underground tunnel network.

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