The FeliCa chip will let customers in Japan store their public bus and train passes on their iPhones. Users would then be able to tap their phones against the entrance scanners instead of using physical cards. While the FeliCa chip is the standard technology underlying the service, there are several different providers of transit payment cards based on the type of transit and areas within Japan.
While NFC is popular in North America, Europe, and Australia, FeliCa dominates Japan with a 1.9 million payment terminals. Those terminals handled $46 billion in transactions last year. That's compared to a 1.3 million NFC terminals in the USA.
Apple reportedly plans to work with multiple transit card providers including Suica and Pasmo networks.
The feature could launch alongside the next generation iPhone; however, if talks with Japanese payment networks fall apart, it may arrive with next year's new device.
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