iOS 6 Passbook Feature Is Attracting Massive Downloads For Developers


With the introduction of iOS 6, Apple brought Passbook to its mobile platform, a new feature that allows users to store coupons, boarding passes, tickets, store cards and other forms of mobile payment. Looks like the feature is not only growing rapidly, but is also driving a huge amount of downloads for the developers who integrate it in their applications, reports Wired.

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Belly, a digital loyalty program for small businesses and one of the first few companies to adopt Passbook, believes it has found the perfect complement to what it is offering to its customers and retailers. Company CEO Logan LaHive said that a tenfold increase was seen in app downloads when Passbook was launched. Customers earn points and rewards using the company’s app or loyalty card, which businesses process with an iPad and software Belly provides, he added. Similarly, Sephora and American Airlines’ app downloads have skyrocketed since Passbook integration.

Sephora saw 38,000 more app downloads than usual the day Passbook launched and says 10,000 of its “Beauty Insider” rewards cards were added to Passbook that day alone. That number has since jumped to 375,000. The company also uses Passbook for gift cards.

“From a gift card standpoint it’s very seamless,” Julie Bornstein, senior vice president of Sephora Digital, told Wired. “You can send a gift card to a friend, they accept it, hit a link to add to their Passbook, and then they have their gift card right there.” Customers also can scan a code on their conventional gift cards so they can add them to Passbook.

Downloads of American Airlines’ app, which launched the day Passbook went live, skyrocketed in the 10 days after Passbook launched, bringing the airline an additional 1 million downloads. Now about 20,000 passes are served each day, and the company has 1.5 million active users of the service. 

Despite complaints of how confusing it can be to create a pass with some apps, Passbook is helping push stores into the future more smoothly than the Android’s mobile technology of choice, NFC.

What do you prefer guys, Passbook or NFC?


  • crosseyed_mofo

    few holdouts making me crazy not adopting passbook, most notably shoppers and marriott

  • SDM would be amazing. One less card to carry.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    and aeroplan

    gotta say it was satisfying using starbucks in nyc recently, canadian app had no issues, i even pinned the one by me as a favorite so it would show in lockscreen (tmobile <3)

  • jabohn

    Safeway, Airmiles, Save-On-Foods and HBC. Those are the cards remaining in my wallet that I’d like to get rid of.

  • bringer666

    I have not found the app useful in the least. Of the standard cards I use on a regular basis, Save-On, Starbucks, Costco, Airmiles – the only one that can be put into the passbook is Starbucks and I don’t find it any more handy than the regular Starbucks app. I’ve pinned my local Starbucks but the location must be wrong because it only comes up when I’m shopping in the strip mall across the street, not when I’m actually in or near the Starbucks. And passbook doesn’t have the extra features like getting an instant update of my remaining credit or reloading my card. Right now I think I’ll stick to the Starbucks app.

  • If you have automatic reload setup with your Starbucks Card, the Passbook card will auto reload/update too.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    you dont need to have the ability to reload your card through passbook if its set up on the app

  • umbh

    Only problem with SDM and many merchants is that they lack the Point-of-sale infrastructure. What would be great is being able to scan passbook barcodes the same way UPCs on products are scanned at checkout.

  • bringer666

    Exactly, so what features does the passbook have that I can’t get by just using the Starbucks app? It would make sense if I had a number of cards working in passbook but for just 1 card, it’s not worth using in my opinion.

  • bringer666

    Thanks Gary. That’s true. I’m don’t really like having auto-reloads in things like this. I like to have to manually reload it so I have a better idea of how much I’m spending at Starbucks. And it’s a considerable amount. 🙂

  • The beauty of Passbook is it should automatically ‘appear’ on your Lockscreen when you’re near a Starbucks location (where we can swipe to reveal), saving you taps from launching the Starbucks app. I guess some locations work better than others.

  • bringer666

    That is a great feature. Unfortunately it doesn’t work well for my Starbucks location.

  • Yeah. It is not the fault of Passbook, as it only pulls information from Starbucks. There’s one location near me that’s not even listed within the Starbucks app, so Passbook doesn’t pop up automatically.