Passbook Potential

Apple released its Passbook app on iOS in September of 2012, but it has only been in the last few weeks that I’ve had the chance to use it in practice.


The app is intended to replace store/rewards cards, tickets and boarding passes with digital equivalents, stored in a new iPhone digital wallet. But the wallet also has smarts, meaning passes can appear on the iPhone lock screen at appropriate locations and times—like when you walk into a store or are at the airport to catch a plane (the passes can include barcodes allowing scanning of the iPhone screen).

Apple touts the benefits of Passbook as not having to worry about misplaced printouts or rifling through your wallet at checkout. But to me, the huge potential for Passbook is to rid my wallet of the need to carry the myriad of loyalty cards that now proliferate[1]. Unfortunately though, in Australia at least, airline boarding passes seem to be about the only thing with Passbook support[2].

In an effort to get support for the loyalty cards I use, but don’t want to carry, I’ve emailed companies to request Passbook support. But as I’m only one voice I don’t expect much of a response. However, if everyone who saw the benefits of Passbook adoption did the same thing, we’d be more likely to see some movement in this area.

So for now, although I’ll continue using Passbook for what it does, I’m looking forward to a future in which it realises its potential.

  1. Even more so after moving several months ago to a slim Bellroy Note Sleeve Wallet.  ↩

  2. Myer support Passbook for gift cards, but not for their Myer one loyalty program, apparently due to them using 1D barcodes that aren’t supported Passbook—although they do have their own Myer one app which can be used as a loyalty card replacement.  ↩