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Thursday, March 22, 2007



The Pasmo card came out in Tokyo this week, on March 18. The name comes from ‘Passnet’ + ‘more’, ‘Passnet’ being the Tokyo subway and city bus prepaid card that Pasmo supersedes.

Pasmo is a prepaid card able to be used to pay the fare on all trains and buses, regardless of operator, i.e. whether public or private, in the Greater Tokyo area. It is interoperable with Japan Rail’s nationwide Suica card, so that either card can be used.

Like the Suica card, the Pasmo card has:
1. A ‘registered’ option, whereby if you register your Pasmo card with your name, and thus for your use only, you can get a refund for however much was remaining on the card if you lose it.
2. A ‘commuting pass’ option, whereby you can use it as a commuting pass, thus taking advantage of the cheaper fixed journey fare. However, it is still usable for journeys not covered by the pass. It will do the necessary calculations automatically.

However, the Pasmo has the added advantages of:
1. an automatic recharge option (called the ‘Auto-charge Service’), whereby your Pasmo is automatically credited with 3,000 from your credit card whenever the amount remaining on it drops below 2,000 yen.
2. being able to check what the last 20 transactions were not only using the recharge machine (as with Suica) but also online.
Unlike Suica, Pasmo cannot yet be dowloaded onto FeLiCa-enabled mobile phones.

Like the Suica, it also doubles as electronic money and can be used to pay for purchases in stores wherever the Pasmo-Suica charge service is installed.

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