iOS chief Scott Forstall outlining Passbook at WWDC. | Source: Apple
A person familiar with Apple's retail operations said the company recently replaced the specialized iPod touch EasyPay cases with a new version, granting access to the device's camera to allow for the scanning of customers' Passbook barcodes, reports TUAW.
The source went on to say that Passbook users will likely be limited to using prepaid gift cards when the purported service launches, though Apple may one day choose to implement a system in which users can add funds to a dedicated Apple Store digital card.
A similar solution is already being used by Starbucks, which essentially brings the reloadable "Starbucks card" from the coffee company's existing iOS app into Passbook. It should be noted, however, that users of the system cannot recharge their card within Passbook, making the feature less useful than Starbuck's own app.
When Apple's head of iOS development Scott Forstall outlined Passbook at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, an Apple Store card was clearly highlighted, however support failed to materialize when the feature debuted with iOS 6.
Apple Store card seen in Passbook demonstration.
As Passbook slowly gains compatibility with major retailers, the ticket, gift card and pass repository is expected to become more robust, giving users a hub to store all their barcode-based assets.
As an example of the service's potential, it was reported last week that Major League Baseball saw 1,500 e-ticket buyers choose to have their tickets delivered to Passbook. The initial run included games for four teams, with 12 percent of all e-ticket holders opting to receive Passbook-enabled versions of their passes.