• Bloomberg, Kyodo


Apple Inc.’s entry into Japanese digital payments got off to a rough start Tuesday as system trouble temporarily prevented commuters from charging their passes.

East Japan Railway Co. said users experienced problems connecting to the mobile Suica payment system after the rail operator servicing the Tokyo metropolitan area began accepting Apply Pay.

The problems started around 7:30 a.m., but were mostly fixed by around 11 a.m., the company said, adding that the trouble was due to the large number of attempts to access the service.

Apple is seeking a foothold in a market where people still prefer paying with cash despite years of using rail passes that double as e-money cards.

The Cupertino, California-based company’s new iPhone 7 includes support for the FeliCa standard, a tap-to-pay technology used in cards such as the Suica and Pasmo rail passes widely accepted in Tokyo and Osaka.

Winning over Japanese commuters could foster growth in e-money usage through Apple Pay and entice more people to buy its phones.

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