While many anticipated the launch of iOS6, available for the vast majority of the company’s iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod touch® models, to coincide with the announcement of NFC in the new iPhone, Apple turned heads with no NFC and no entry into mobile payments. The launch of Apple’s new iOS6, home to Passbook, however did mark the company’s entry point into the digital wallet space.
What is Passbook? Leveraging existing mobile platform features, including geolocation services, Passbook serves as a convenient single-location digital wallet for travel and entertainment tickets, coupons, and loyalty and gift cards, and automatically offers ‘top of presence’ accessibility based on time and physical location. Positioned as a convenience tool for consumers, Passbook presents enormous value to retailers, offering a targeted method of extending coupons and exclusive deals to consumers based on time and location, whether they are in-store or around the corner.
And, Apple has opened up development around Passbook, offering retailers and payment solution providers the opportunity to integrate Passbook functionality into their mobile application or mobile payment acceptance solution. Developers can add passes to Passbook via three primary methods: in a self-developed application, via email or on the web and updates may be made through Apple’s Push Notification service (APNs).
With so many options available to take advantage of Passbook, companies not leveraging at least one element of the platform will miss out on targeted engagement opportunities with both existing and prospective customers.