Passbook – the underrated strategy app

4 minute read

The Passbook app was released by Apple in 2012, but has seen relatively little uptake in the UK.  I wanted to explore the advantages and features of the Passbook app and tell you how it could be cleverly applied to your business strategy.  Firstly, here are some benefits and features of the app:



  • Neatly stores vouchers, boarding passes, gift/store cards and event tickets;
  • Displays 2D barcodes of the following types: Aztec, PDF417 and QR;
  • Is triggered by time and location of a pass – up to 10 locations available;
  • Can distribute passes via email, the web, or directly from an app;
  • Allows users to scan in passes using their camera;
  • Is suitable for companies without their own app.

Each Passbook pass contains a barcode (just like any other app) but the key difference with Passbook is that it stores them all in a single location (the king of apps) and has other great features such as the ones mentioned above. How handy! Not only are your passes together, but they all appear at the right time and place such as when you reach the airport for a flight or walk into a shop.

iOS-Passbook-on-lock-screen[6]The Passbook app automatically checks for the relevance of your passes and displays them on your lock screen accordingly when the device wakes. You can then slide the pass to view for quick access, unlike rummaging through your purse or wallet like a madman. Think of the app’s convenience to your subscribers! Passbook caters more for their needs and will allow them to store and retrieve vouchers, tickets and passes more easily. Passbook can leverage the relevance of your marketing by using time-sensitive or location-sensitive information, and provides subscribers with a notification on their lock screen when the pass is relevant to them. All they then have to do is swipe the notification to display their ticket/pass/voucher, which not only makes life easier for them but ultimately enables your marketing to be slicker.

Talking of slicker, the clever app offers a channel through which customers who have stored a previous voucher can be contacted. For example, time-sensitive promotions can be used through GPS to target customers when they are close to a shop or restaurant offering them a special offer in the morning or afternoon. The beauty is that Passbook does the reminding rather than relying on customers to print off email vouchers. In the future, Passbook users will even be able to receive urgent messages such as changes to flights which is invaluable communication.

Passbook may be one of the most underrated technologies on the iPhone. Mobile use is predicted to increase and redemption of mobile vouchers is approximately 10 times higher than that of paper vouchers. Small companies who may not have the budget or resources to create an app for themselves can really benefit from this: they don’t need to make their own app and can use Passbook instead. It really could drive customer engagement to the next level. Flimsy paper vouchers will soon be a ‘thing’ of the past, we hope!


What do you think of the Passbook app?

How will you use it in your business strategy?

Let us know!