News Article

Suica NFC Cards To Finally Be Used, From 22nd July, For eShop Payments in Japan

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Here's hoping for Western equivalents

For well over a year now, Nintendo has been stating that it would utilise the NFC capabilities of the Wii U GamePad to support "Suica" cards in Japan. Typically used on public transport — in Japan and around the world in various forms — these swipe cards will allow gamers to quickly pay for a game on the eShop without inputting credit card details or manually adding funds on the store itself. After quite a delay introducing the functionality, a corporate press release has stated that the cards will be usable from 22nd July.

Various brands of cards will be used to accommodate different regions of Japan, while a neat-sounding loyalty scheme will give users 1 Suica point for every 200 Yen spent. This is a smart move on Nintendo's part, as many people have these cards stocked up with funds for daily commutes and general travel, and now there'll be the option to just hold that same card against the GamePad NFC area to quickly pay. Not only does it promise to be quicker and more convenient than other methods, but also gives parents another option for managing digital money available to children, for example.

We're hopeful that Nintendo is working on similar collaborations and products for the West, whether incorporating existing cards (such as the Oyster card in London) or setting up Nintendo cards that can be quickly and easily topped up online and then scanned into the system. Naturally, utilising existing NFC-enabled travel cards — as is the case in Japan — would be the ideal option.

Do you like the idea of using travel card funds to quickly buy games on the Wii U eShop? Let us know.

[via nintendo.co.jp, kotaku.com]

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User Comments (13)

TheWPCTraveler

#1

TheWPCTraveler said:

I learned about Suica because of the Touhou Project. (Come on, Suika Ibuki is the cutest little drunkard that you could never hope to keep up with!)
Well, to be honest, it was from a doujin. A hilarious one.

I'd like a bullet hell shmup, please!

(And before you tell me the two are different entities, I know about that. But, who wouldn't be curious if you find out someone who signed herself as "Death to PASMO!")

XXIV

#4

XXIV said:

Does anyone know if the Wii U's NFC could work with the tap (which, if it isn't a thing in the majority of the world, is just tapping a certain part of your card against a machine that takes that function, paying near instantly)?

rjejr

#6

rjejr said:

Nintendo should incorporate the NFC chip into THEIR eShop cards. I know it would cost extra but they already gave away all those other game cards for Photos with Mario so they could make the NFC eShop cards special foil collectors editions or something.

Kaze_Memaryu

#8

Kaze_Memaryu said:

It's a cool system, but it's not really safe at all. If someone were to swipe one of these, and coincidentally own a WiiU, he/she could just unload it entirely on the eShop.

DiscoGentleman

#9

DiscoGentleman said:

This is on Suica, but not Pasmo? :( I have a Pasmo, so I'm always rootin' for the little guy, but I guess I should just get a Suica next time.
Anyway, this is really an important step for the Wii U in Japan, as Japan is still a very cash-based society. I would say the majority of people, especially kids and young adults, have money on their Suica card for commuting at any given time, but don't even own a credit card. So this is very smart of Nintendo to form this partnership to make it easier for people to pay, hence BUY. Even though the convenience stores all have eShop cards, nothing beats the impulse convenience of having money already in your wallet/purse when you're comfortably at home with your Wii U or lounging with your 3DS.

@XXIV probably not :/ side-note, I love that system! Went to Toronto recently and used it, it was really convenient!

iphys

#10

iphys said:

I don't understand what happened to the whole idea of using the camera to read QR codes from the cards. That would at least work on 3DS and Wii U, and be less freaky than worrying about the chip accidentally getting scanned, assuming you have to peel off a backing first to read it like the current numerical codes.

AVahne

#11

AVahne said:

Wonder when they'll work with Google to have it work with Google Wallet.

SethNintendo

#13

SethNintendo said:

" a corporate press release has stated that the cards will be usable from 22nd July"

That's my birthday!

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