Apple Preparing to Use Passbook at Retail Locations
A source who claims to be familiar with Apple’s retail operations recently said that the Cupertino California company is going to roll out changes to the existing EasyPay point-of-sale system to include payments from Passbook by the end of October. This should bring support for the iOS 6 feature to the company’s retail stores going forward. The source went on to say that Passbook users will likely be limited to using prepaid gift cards when the service launches although Apple may choose to implement a system in which users can add funds to a dedicated Apple Store digital card in the future.
Starbucks also uses a similar solution, which essentially brings the reloadable “Starbucks card” from the company’s existing iOS app into Passbook. It should be noted however that users of the system cannot recharge their card within Passbook, which makes the feature less useful than the iteration Starbuck’s app uses.
Features such as this one were first pointed out by Apple’s head of iOS development, Scott Forstall, in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference but they failed to come to fruition at the debut of iOS 6. As Passbook continues to gain traction with major retailers, the ticket, gift card and pass repository is expected to become increasingly robust, giving users a place to store all their barcode-based assets. Examples of the service’s potential include the success that Major League Baseball saw last week with 12% of all e-ticket holders opting to receive passes that were Passbook-enabled.
Hopefully the trend continues and Passbook picks up more as it is a feature that will seemingly make life easier for many iOS users. Once Apple implements at their Apple retail store locations, I'm sure many users will look to take advantage of the option.