The Simpler Way to Pay in Japan

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Payment Card powered by Mastercard, issued by a Japanese bank

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The only service designed by expats, for expats in Japan

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Anyone with a Japanese Residence Card is eligible, acceptance guaranteed*

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Dedicated customer support from native English-speakers

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Every card issued pays for food for children in Africa

Japan Debit Card

* Subject to ID & fraud checks

A payment card you can use like you're back home

Japan payment solution

MobalPay is a Prepaid Japanese Payment Card that’s designed by expats, for expats in Japan. You can use it in-store or online, and you can top-up your balance using cash at convenience stores and ATMs all over Japan. You don’t even need a Japanese bank account.

Why do I need MobalPay?

Every expat in Japan knows how difficult it is to get set up with a bank account and a payment card when you arrive. The simplest transactions that you took for granted back home are more complicated than you ever imagined. Want to open a traditional Japanese bank account? Sorry, you don’t meet the minimum residency requirements. Want to use your card from home to pay online? Sorry, Japanese-issued cards only.

MobalPay is different.

MobalPay is a real Japanese payment card that you can start using right away. MobalPay is powered by Mastercard and brought to you by the team behind Mobal, the leading telecoms provider for English-speaking expats in Japan. That means you get all the benefits of a native English-speaking customer service team, and all the security and reliability of a real Japanese-issued Mastercard.

To get your MobalPay card, all you need to do is apply here. As we don’t have the minimum residency requirements that traditional Japanese banks do, and we don’t need to see your credit history, you’re guaranteed to be accepted as long as you're a long term resident in Japan with a valid Residence Card, and your ID passes our secure verification checks.

How it works

You can use your MobalPay card in the same way you’d use any prepaid card - you can use it for online transactions and in-store purchases too. Your card is equipped with Chip & PIN technology, meaning you can shop securely wherever you are. It’s also equipped with 3DS verification, keeping you safe when you shop online. When you need to add funds to your account, you can do this via online bank transfer, or by using cash or card at ATMs all over Japan.

Getting Started
Once your ID has been accepted, you’ll be asked for your set-up fee of ¥440, which you can pay by topping up your MobalPay account for the first time – you can do this quickly and easily using cash at convenience stores all over Japan (we’ll send you all the info you need about this!). Your MobalPay card will then be sent right to you, wherever you are in Japan!

That’s it! You’re ready to start spending.

Japan payment card

Your first month of MobalPay is free from fees! After that, your MobalPay account costs ¥385 per month, which will be deducted from your account balance each month.

" I am very happy about the MobalPay Card, because I got denied credit cards many times, despite having a high valued job in Japan. "

Anna P, Chiba

MobalPay Payment Card

Japan payment card

¥2,970

¥440

Set-up fee

¥385

¥275

Per month
(prices include tax)
(prices include tax)

" I recently got a mobalpay card to use in Japan. I found it very useful. I didn't need a My Number to sign up which was great. I had a few difficulties getting started but all emails to customer service were answered clearly. The instructions were easy to follow. Being able to top up with cash in conbini is great. Highly recommend. "

Tricia Hutton

Why do we charge a monthly fee? Our charity promise

Mobal Charity

MobalPay, like our sister brand Mobal, is founded on the belief that good business should do good in the world. Our monthly fees allow us to invest in our charity work, which you can find out all about here.

Mobal have been around for over 30 years and are experts in serving the needs of expats in Japan. Find out more at mobal.com

FAQs

Many foreign-issued cards are often not accepted in Japanese stores or on Japanese websites. Even on the rare occasion they are accepted, they often incur hefty fees.

Your MobalPay card is different. It’s a real, Japanese-issued Mastercard, so there are very few limitations. You can use it almost anywhere a Japanese Mastercard would be accepted. As it’s a prepaid card and not a bank account or cash card, you can’t get your salary paid into your MobalPay account or use your MobalPay card to withdraw cash from an ATM, but you can otherwise use it just like you’d use your own Mastercard back home.

As MobalPay is a prepaid card and not a bank account or cash card, you can’t get your salary paid into your MobalPay account, or use your MobalPay card to withdraw cash from an ATM, but you can otherwise use it just like you’d use your own Mastercard back home.

That’s the million ¥ question. For a country that’s known all over the world for its tech innovations, many new expats are shocked when they discover how reliant Japan is on paper-based bureaucracy and old-fashioned methods of communication. That makes getting any kind of banking set up when you first arrive a real headache. As for why it has to be so difficult? We can’t answer that, but it’s why we invented MobalPay.

No! As we don’t have the minimum residency requirements that traditional Japanese banks often do, and we don’t need to see your credit history, you’re guaranteed to be accepted as long as your ID is accepted by our secure verification system.

If your ID is approved by our secure system, you’ll hear from us within one business day. You’ll then be able to top-up your MobalPay account for the first time, which allows us to send your card straight to you.

The quickest and easiest way to top up your MobalPay balance is by using cash at convenience stores all over Japan. You can also use cash at ATMs in Japanese banks, and if you also have a Japanese bank account, you can use a bank-book or cash card at an ATM, or make an online bank transfer. You can find detailed instructions for each of these at our Support Site.

The balance limit of your MobalPay account is ¥500,000 – more than enough for the vast majority of online transactions!

If there aren't enough funds to take the full monthly fee, then the fee isn't taken – we will instead take it when you next top-up.

You can continue to use up your remaining balance while there's an outstanding monthly fee payment. 

If there's an outstanding monthly fee, we won't bill another one – we will put your monthly fee billing on hold. This means you could leave your account with a very small or zero balance for months and there would be no cost.