Sumary of What to do if your phone battery dies when using a mobile transit pass on a Japanese train:
- For many commuters in Japan, swapping an IC transport card for the mobile system that allows you to simply swipe your phone over the ticket reader as you pass through the gates is a big step up in terms of speed and convenience.
- That’s the situation our Japanese reporter Ahiruneko found himself in the other day, when he was out on the field with fellow reporters Yoshio and P.K.
- To fix the problem, station staff handed him a slip of paper with “PASMO/Suica processing contact form” written at the top, and told him to hand this over to station staff, along with his iPhone, to have the entry record deleted once his phone battery was charged up.
- According to the official website of East Japan Railway Company, Ahiruneko could’ve exited from the station without having to consult with the station staff, as there’s a section that reads: “For devices with a reserve battery power option, if the Suica is set as an express card, Suica alone can be used for a certain period of time (even if it says the battery needs to be charged).” That means our reporter could’ve exited the station by simply holding his battery-zapped iPhone over the ticket gate.
- Apparently, this “Power Reserve mode” was introduced with iOS 12, and it reserves just enough power on your phone to support Express Card transactions for around five hours on a seemingly dead battery.
- Unfortunately, the service appears to be limited to some iPhones, but to see if it works on yours, simply press the side button on your iPhone when it’s out of battery, and if you see a message appear on the screen that says you can still use Express Cards, you’ll be able to use cards in Apple Wallet, like that all-important transit card.