One of the main features of Apple new mobile OS is the Passbook app, that many pundits predict that Apple could use as platform for future mobile payment rivaling with Square, PayPal, etc..

imageWhile it is not fully deployed, we still believe Apple is well positioned to take on this endeavor once the time is right. Few data points indicate the company is preparing something more ambitious than its continuing hardware innovation to sustain growth: Apple currently has about 400 million customers with their credit card information; Last July, the Cupertino company acquired Authentec, a mobile security, biometric fingerprint reading. Both could be used to play in a lucrative mobile payment platform.

Apple has not yet decided to adopt NFC (Near Field Communication), which has been adopted by many smartphone manufacturers on Android and Windows Phone platform but has not yet gained much momentum with the merchants.  Apple is well known for creating something new on its own versus following existing footsteps. With its dominant position, Apple can rightly do so.

For the time being, at the iPhone 5 launch, Apple downplayed the feature with the below simple description for its Passbook app:

“Your boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and more are now all in one place. With Passbook, you can scan your iPhone or iPod touch to check in for a flight, get into a movie, and redeem a coupon. You can also see when your coupons expire, where your concert seats are, and the balance left on that all-important coffee bar card. Wake your iPhone or iPod touch, and passes appear on your Lock screen at the appropriate time and place — like when you reach the airport or walk into the store to redeem your gift card or coupon. And if your gate changes after you’ve checked in for your flight, Passbook will even alert you to make sure you’re not relaxing in the wrong terminal”

Essentially, the app will store all your cards, tickets and use the geo aware to pop them out when you are at or near the corresponding venue of the events. You then scan the barcode for admission or to redeem a coupon.

imageIf you upgraded to iOS 6 and jump on this app like me, you’d be disappointed  to see the welcome screen showing few options that app can do and points you to the app store, which shows a handful of apps supporting Passbook.

I did follow the instruction and install Target Store app. Upon completion, I still don’t see where Target sends me the link to create a store card.

Thanks to iPhonehacks Web site, which provides the instructions to quickly create few fake cards. A great way see how the app works.. At least the part that a service sends you a Passbook enable card and see how it shows up in your Passbook app.


  • Point your iOS 6 device’s Safari browser to
  • Tap on Individual Passes
  • Here you’ll see different types of test pass options. Select one of the them.
  • You will now see several fields that can be edited. Leave everything as default and tap on the Create button at the bottom.
  • Once the pass is created, you will see the preview of the pass. Tap on the Add button at the top right corner to add the pass to the Passbook app.
  • Launch the Passbook app and you should see the test pass in the app. You can tap on the Settings option in the bottom right corner to set Notifications when there are updates to the pass or to show up in the lock screen based on time or location.

You can see how to create them in the below video:

Update: 9/21/12: The Target app has now option to create a Coupon card. Just fill out the information for registration and your iPhone # for confirmation. The app then give you option to send the coupon card to your Passbook app.

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