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Apple Pay is coming to Japan for tap-and-pay on the subway

A use case that may actually make sense.

Starting in October, Apple Pay will work in Japan’s metro system.
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Apple’s mobile payment service, Apple Pay, is launching this year in Japan, the company announced at its new product event on Wednesday.

The service will allow people to, among other things, tap and pay for subway and rail rides by loading the local transit card, Suica, into their digital wallet, the company said.

To make this happen, Apple’s new iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 will include a special Sony chip — called FeliCa — that is compatible with these systems. Apple Pay is also expanding to New Zealand and Russia, the company said.

Apple Pay does not yet work as a pass for any U.S. transit systems. This is one real-world scenario, however, where the service could be more convenient to use than the existing system.

While tapping and paying in a store isn’t always that much faster than swiping or dipping a card, tapping for a ride on the New York subway system, for example, would definitely be an improvement over the existing metro card.

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