Credit Card Payments Becoming Available for Trains in Japan

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Contactless payment using credit cards is becoming available for train services in Japan, including regional services where Suica and other prepaid IC cards, which are mainly used for public transportation, are not available.

In anticipation of an increase in the number of visitors from countries where such contactless payment is widely used, domestic train operators hope to highlight the convenience of being able to board trains with credit cards that they use regularly.

Enoshima Electric Railway Co.’s regional line in Kanagawa Prefecture attracts many tourists and train enthusiasts. In April, equipment for contactless credit card payments was installed at all stations on the line, called Enoden.

The move came as the company is bracing for a further rise in demand for inbound travel thanks to the easing of the COVID-19 crisis. The company expects the introduction of contactless credit card payments to ease the workload of customer service staff and reduce congestion at ticket vending machines.

Tokyu Corp., which operates in and around Tokyo, will begin this summer a trial of contactless credit card payments on its Denentoshi and other lines.

“By adopting a payment method that is a global standard, we can allow [foreign passengers] to board trains in the way they are used to in their home countries,” a Tokyu official said, emphasizing the benefits of the payment service for inbound visitors.