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Suica at Wilgo

Suica by Japan Rail East began to be introduced in 2001 and has now become a “must to have” in daily life. Mobile Suica was introduced in 2006, and many people who have a smartphone or mobile phone are using it. Since both can be used for transportation not only with Japan Rail East but buses and taxies as well as at various retails and restaurants, it’s really convenient.

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According to a survey on electronic money (only in Japanese) conducted by IT media Business ONLINE in December 2023 among 1,000 people aged 20 to 80, Suica ranked third in the number of users.

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As the COVID-19 has eased and the number of tourists to Japan has increased, it has become standard practice to obtain a Suica card (Welcome Suica) upon arrival at Haneda or Narita Airport. Many smartphone users install Mobile Suica and use it comfortably, and they also use the Smart EX app to travel to Kyoto or Osaka, where they cannot ride on Nozomi with Japan Rail Pass. Even though it is more expensive than JR Pass, many visitors to Japan are prioritizing convenience.

Suica and Mobile Suica can be used on taxies, one of public transportation. Howeve, for a long time after their introduction to the taxi industry, Suica was not available on private taxis (Kojin Taxi) and so-called “nursing care accessible taxis” for some reason. These are often operated by self-employed drivers. Some people comment on the Internet that the reason why Suica has been unavailable is the cost of implementing Suica on a vehicle is expensive.

個人タクシーは交通系ICカードが利用できないところが多いです。その理由は導入費用に数十万円必要な点と決済手数料として3%がかかる点があります。Many private taxies do not accept traffic IC cards. This is due to the fact that the installation cost is several hundred thousand yen and a payment processing fee of 3% is charged.

どちらも個人タクシーの場合は自身が負担しなければいけない費用となるので、導入に踏みきれない壁となっています。In both cases, private taxis have to bear the costs themselves, which is a barrier to implementation.タクシーでSuicaやICOCAなどの交通系ICカードは利用できるの?

Of course, one of the reasons may be the implementation cost and payment processing fees, but the real reason is that the companies providing payment processing services were not accepting contracts with anyone other than the major taxi companies. Recently, an increasing number of private taxies have implemented the Go app and other services to accept cashless payments including Suica. In late 2017, when the service was first launched, Wilgo also signed service agreements with payment processing service companies to implement cashless payment, but Suica and other transportation IC cards were excluded from the agreements. When we asked the payment processing service companies why, they did not explain the specific reasons and all they replied was “Please wait until we include them…”.

On April 1, 2024, the Japanese version of ride-sharing started in four areas across Japan, including the 23 wards of Tokyo, Musashino City, and Mitaka City. At the same time, Wilgo is pleased to announce that you can now pay by Suica for your rides on Wilgo. Wilgo is not sure if the start of the Japanese version ride-sharing is the trigger, but suddenly we received a notice from the payment processing service company that the service became available, and since Wilgo can use the same payment device currently using, Wilgo is able to increase customer convenience without incurring any additional costs.

Please use Suica and Mobile Suica to complete your payment without the need to enter your PIN, just as you would with a credit card. Please take advantage of this when you ride on Wilgo.