During their developer conference WWDC this week, Apple has presented a new app called “Passbook” that aggregates loyalty cards, tickets and passes and stores them in one central place. The app shows a QR code that can be scanned to redeem tickets at a concert or earn rewards at a retail store. The app also features location-based services. It can be configured to pop up automatically and show your loyalty card when you enter your favorite Starbucks. Another nice feature is the notification service; Passbook can alert the user when for example a flight is delayed or the gate changes.
The Passbook app doesn’t look very special at first sight. Digital wallet apps are nothing new; in fact there are several other apps available that have pretty much the same functionality such as the Pay with Square app or the Lemon app. What makes Passbook special is the deep integration into the new iOS version. Apple promotes Passbook as a loyalty and ticket redeeming app (at least for now), but mobile payment services could easily be added. Apple has already more than 400 million App Store accounts with linked credit card information. Today, customers can only use their account to buy digital content within Apple’s ecosystem. With Passbook Apple could offer a payment solution for a wider range of goods and services and become a major player in the mobile payment market.