Japanese Prepaid Cards Nanaco and WAON to Support Apple Pay Later This Year

Two popular Japanese prepaid money cards will be gaining support for Apple Pay later this year, allowing the cards to be added to the Wallet app for contactless payments using an iPhone or Apple Watch where accepted, it was announced today.

nanaco apple pay
The cards set to gain Apple Pay support include Seven & I's Nanaco card and AEON's WAON card, as noted by Ata Distance. The blog, which focuses on mobile payment and transit cards in Japan, believes it will likely become possible to add the cards to the Wallet app shortly after the public release of iOS 15, which is expected in September.

waon apple pay
As part of its Apple Pay announcement, Seven & I said it has issued around 74 million Nanaco cards that are accepted at around 800,000 retail locations in Japan, including 7-Eleven and Ito-Yokado stores. Likewise, AEON said it has issued over 87 million WAON cards that are accepted at more than 840,000 retail locations across the island country.

Apple Pay continues to expand to more issuers around the world, including ING in Belgium and FNB in South Africa earlier this month.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

japanime Avatar
6 weeks ago

Nanaco and WAON cards appear to have very cute branding ?
Very clever names, too.

How do these compare to Suica on apple pay? Suica is super easy to reload on your phone (can use apple pay credit card). But maybe these two are accepted in more places?
Each has its segment of the market. Nanaco will be good at 7-Eleven convenience stores and (more importantly to me) supermarkets under the Seven and I Holdings umbrella. Waon is accepted at other convenience store and supermarket chains.

Suica is widely accepted, and has the huge advantage of being able to be set as an express transit card. So, even when used for non-transit transactions (stores, restaurants, etc.), it's not necessary to double-click the iPhone or Apple watch. Just wave and go.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
6 weeks ago
Nanaco and WAON cards appear to have very cute branding ?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
japanime Avatar
6 weeks ago

Can you explain how so, please? I’m interested ?
"Nana" is one way to pronounce the word "seven," which refers to the "seven" in "Seven and I Holdings" (itself a combination of "7-Eleven" and the first letter in "Ito Yokado," which is part of the conglomerate).

The Waon card mascot is a dog, and "waon" is an onomatopoieia for a dog's bark, and the Waon NFC terminals make a barking sound when the transaction is successful.

Most Japanese e-payment cards have very clever names. Here's a page from a book I helped write that explains the meaning of Suica (mentioned elsewhere in this thread) as well as the Icoca card.

Attachment Image
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Luke MacWalker Avatar
6 weeks ago

Most Japanese e-payment cards have very clever names. Here's a page from a book I helped write that explains the meaning of Suica (mentioned elsewhere in this thread) as well as the Icoca card.
Thank you! I was wondering why they called this card "watermelon"… ?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
6 weeks ago

Very clever names, too.
Can you explain how so, please? I’m interested ?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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