Originally Posted by Mac_128
Passbook was poorly implemented in my book. No pun intended. Not nearly enough vendors lined up to utilize it at launch, and as a result a very poor demonstration of why they think it is better than NFC. In fact Cook just simply should have not addressed NFC at all.
Theoretically, you will be able to load store cards, credit cards, gas cards, restaurant cards, etc. and use those for electronic purchases at POS. Im like you, and the coupon thing would only make sense to most who are already using an App, like Starbucks, or a grocery store chain. And Passbook is supposed to automatically open to that store when you are in proximity to make using this payment method easier.
Theoretically, Apple could leverage their iTunes database as one of these methods, depending on being in an apple partner store, so that you could actually charge anything to your iTunes credit card. Sort of like using PayPal. Personally, I'm not eager to load balances on cards like Starbucks, etc. I have a couple of credit cards I use for everything, and if these were made available for use with Passbook, then I would be a lot more likely to use it as a primary payment method, where I could (and that's the other big problem, as I believe every vendor has a completely different method for scanning that information -- Passbook just helps you organize it). On the other hand people give me gift cards all the time, and they rarely get used, because I never remember to bring them with me. If I could just download the app and register the card, it would sure be a lot easier to use them when I happened to be in a particular store, then delete the app after I've spent the money. And don't forget the ticket purchasing aspect ... From airlines to movie tickets -- the apps for which you are theoretically already using -- passbook will make them incredibly easy to use. I'm totally in board for that one. The problem so far seems to be that the venues who accept the tickets aren't really up to speed with the new system, and I'm not sure how widespread it actually is at this point.
Again, I'm not sure what Apple hopes to accomplish here. It's a very small step toward a user payment system, and since it isn't a unified payment system like NFC purports to be, and just an organizational tool (which requires a lot of front end setup time by the user), I don't see this really going far, or being in any way as revolutionary as Apple suggested it would be (such claims tend to include everyone and this seems to only effect users who are already using these apps), especially in light of their comments suggesting it was a more practical implementation than NFC at this time. Once they standardize NFC, Passbook may still be useful to organize your bank cards, and all the other stuff passbook can handle now, but unless I'm missing something Important, Passbook is in no way a suitable substitute for NFC or other unified POS system.