Nintendo has announced that, starting today, Wii U owners in Japan will be able to purchase items from the eShop via the NFC reader, by touching specific cards to the GamePad.

There are several prepaid cards in Japan – like Suica, Toica, Pasmo – that are embedded with chips and allow payment for services like public transportation or convenience store purchases, simply by swiping them by a reader.

Wii U owners will soon be added to the list with purchases on the eShop possible by swiping the participating card by the console’s GamePad and its built-in NFC (near field communication) technology.

There has been no word of such a facility for Wii U consoles in other regions yet.

The NFC feature of the Wii U’s GamePad is a great feature that hasn’t been used to date. This is a practical example of how it can work well in the lead-up to the release of the Amiibo figurines, revealed at E3 2014 and due to launch alongside Super Smash Bros. later this year.

Let us know if you could see yourself swiping away to purchase items more easily on the eShop, if it was available in your region.