Created for expats living in Japan

Electronic Money (E-Money) in Japan

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While Japan is generally seen as a cash-based society, the Japanese government has set a goal of boosting cashless payment usage to 40% by 2025. Cashless payment usage in Japan was 36% in 2022, according to Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Despite the fact that people prefer cash to other forms of payment, Japan has seen the introduction of a wide range of electronic payment methods.

You can learn about Japanese Prepaid Cards (including IC Cards), Debit Cards, and Mobile Payment Methods in this article.

Mobalpay for Expats in Japan

Your hassle-free payment solution in Japan. Mobalpay is a prepaid Japanese payment card for expats, designed by expats. No Japanese bank account needed. Use it online or in-store, and top up with cash at various locations. Say goodbye to complex setups. MobalPay is powered by Mastercard, offering native English-speaking support. Plus, every card issued contributes to feeding children in Africa. Get started now with your Japanese Residence Card; acceptance is guaranteed after ID and fraud checks. Simplify your life in Japan with MobalPay.

GTN's EPOS VISA CARD for Foreign Residents in Japan

If you need a mobile phone (SIM card) and a credit card, this is an excellent option.

The GTN EPOS Card has been developed in collaboration with Global Trust Networks (GTN), a company that specializes in providing comprehensive lifestyle support services to foreigners. It's a no-deposit credit card with a straightforward application process and complete English support.

Japanese Prepaid Cards

Prepaid Cards, including IC cards such as Suica or Pasmo, are a common and popular cashless payment method in Japan.

Prepaid Cards have the following benefits:

・You can obtain a card without having to complete a credit card application screening.
・You can limit your spending by charging a set amount in advance.
・You can use the card to shop online in the same way that you would a credit card.


nanaco can be used at a variety of stores, restaurants, and airports.

Rakuten Edy

Rakuten Edy is accepted in most convenience stores, Kinokuniya Bookstores, McDonald's, Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Yodobashi Camera, and other locations.

Transportation IC Cards (Suica, Pasmo, Icoca etc.)

Please visit our other article to read more about "Using Your PASMO or Suica as an IC Card for Other Purchases".


If you like to shop at AEON, Daiei, My Basket, or Mini Stop, WAON will come in handy.

Mobile Carriers

Prepaid cards are available from Japanese mobile providers. If you have a contract with them, they may be able to provide you with some additional benefits as part of their package.



※Website is in Japanese

Docomo d-card

※Website is in Japanese



It would be quite handy to have the card if you frequently fly one of the following airlines.

Customers as young as 15 years old can use JAL prepaid card. Only Japanese is available on the website.


Prepaid cards are also available from ANA, as well as speial cards for children (from 13 years old). Only Japanese is available on the website.

Debit Cards in Japan

PRESTIA (SMBC Trust Bank Ltd.)

Mitsubishi UFJ Bank

※Website is in Japanese

Deposit Card for Foreign Residents

The J TRUST Global Card is a new form of credit card designed specifically for international residents. You can apply for a card without having to create a bank account by paying a fee known as a guarantee deposit. It is possible to use the card as a credit card.


Mobile Payment Methods in Japan

Below are popular mobile payment services in Japan.