How to Integrate Passbook Access into Existing Business Systems

Posted on June 18, 2012

Apple’s new Passbook feature certainly garnered the most attention from this year’s WWDC keynote. Attention is now beginning to be turned towards how it can be integrated into applications and workflow.

For most merchants and purveyors of ticketed services, Passbook will be a huge boon to their business, increasing customer loyalty, efficiency and providing a better presence on their customers’ personal phones. However, to get tickets into Passbook, we need to consider how to feed information to the phone.

At Digital Possibilities, here are a few ideas on how we think we can do so:

email: one of the easiest ways to integrate information is via email. We believe that a current service can send an email with an embedded code that can be used to open Passbook with an appropriate image.

Identification: if your system uses a login, like Starbucks cards, have users login to Passbook and then feed into Passbook all valid services that they have, such as tickets, loyalty cards etc. This will require some thought on how to make this as frictionless as possible for customers.

SMS / Texts: similar to email, send an SMS text to the user’s phone with a URL and code to open Passbook.

Application Updates: if you have an existing application, this could be used to feed information to Passbook. The application would probably have to be opened of course, so this may be a drawback to this approach. A combined approach where the application creates the pass, but the pass is updated directly from the server may make more sense.

All these ideas are just concepts. Until iOS is released and there is more documentation available, it will be difficult to fully know the complete scope of Passbook and what it can do. However, it is not difficult to piece together what components are necessary, and we can already begin to think about how that will work with existing systems and workflows.

Every POS vendor today and loyalty system provider must be considering how they can implement Passbook into their systems, otherwise they will lose a great amount of competitive positioning within their markets.

Passbook Specialist Center for Business and Technical Support