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Apple rolls out 'iTunes Pass' for Passbook in Japan, lets customers reload funds at any Apple Store

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Apple on Tuesday unveiled iTunes Pass, a new Passbook-based service that allows customers to refill their iTunes account by purchasing credit in brick-and-mortar Apple Stores.




Apple's new iTunes Pass service is a reversal of how Passbook cards usually work. Instead of debiting out of their iTunes account, customers can replenish funds by taking an iPhone or iPod touch into an Apple Store and purchasing credit from a sales representative, who then scans in the amount through Passbook.

For now, the service appears to be limited to Japan, though a wider rollout is expected in the near future.

As described by Apple:

Use iTunes Pass to make direct deposits into your App Store or iTunes account. To get iTunes Pass, visit the iTunes Store on your iOS device, scroll down and tap on the "Use iTunes Card/Code" button. After that, a Specialist at an Apple Store near you will be able accept payment by scanning the iTunes Pass card in Passbook. Your balance will be updated on the spot and is available immediately.


Interestingly, the small print points out that "iTunes Pass is not available in Brazil, China and Turkey," suggesting Apple is planning to roll out the feature in other countries soon. Apple might be piloting the service -- looking for bugs or complications -- as the company usually first introduces new products and services to customers in the U.S. and Canada.

Apple introduced Passbook in iOS 6 as a way to store gift cards, boarding passes and other digital coupons. Customers are able to install cards linked to digital accounts from participating retailers and businesses like the Apple Store, Starbucks and United Airlines. Prior to iTunes Pass, users had to recharge their stored cards through Passbook or a third-party app.
post #2 of 9
This is highly relevant to Japan as it is a very cash oriented economy (surprisingly so for an advanced country). Makes sense also for Chona, Brazil and Turkey which are also cash economies (albeit with lower per capita incomes than Japan).
post #3 of 9

Not surprising if you've seen their ridiculous credit card fees. ;)

post #4 of 9

...and so Apple Mobile Payments continues to infiltrate the world.

All the gift card companies will follow suit.  Money transfers may be next...

post #5 of 9
Fees are not a problem, remember they don't have revolving credit which is where cards make their money in the west. Getting approved for a card is hard. Tough standards compared with the west.
post #6 of 9
Will this allow people to add credit to Japanese-based AppleIDs, while outside Japan, without having to use an intermediary to purchase Apple iTunes gift cards? There are extensive music and movie products exclusive to the Japanese iTunes Store.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by longpath View Post

Will this allow people to add credit to Japanese-based AppleIDs, while outside Japan, without having to use an intermediary to purchase Apple iTunes gift cards? There are extensive music and movie products exclusive to the Japanese iTunes Store.

My guess is no. Those restrictions are set up due to copyright deals so Apple isn't going to do anything that facilitates the easy skirting of the setup. So it will likely be that you can only refill a store account in the country of that account.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post
 

...and so Apple Mobile Payments continues to infiltrate the world.

All the gift card companies will follow suit.  Money transfers may be next...

how far of a reach is it for Apple to effectively make iTunes gift cards useful for things outside of the AppStore/ITMS?

 

The Apple Store as your cash based charging station... in the US, it's your credit or debit card.

 

The big next step: iTunes charging stations that can be tied to merchants who accept Passbook as payment.  You walk into starbucks (any one anywhere in the world, either pay with your phone, or hand over $20 bucks and put it in one of your passbook accounts (merchant gets a cut, as Apple makes their cut on the end transaction spending the money in passbook).

 

Think about it.  Apple through their payment card services, and TouchID, and registration of the phone to an AppleID has the ability to 

1) 'identify' the person, through something you have, something you know (password), and something you are (touchID).   Any 2 of the three used to execute a money load/unload transaction.

2) yuou can purchase stuff with your accumulated iTunes credit or other registered cards

3) you can put money into gift cards for use at any place that take iTunes Passbook, including Apple Stores (branch office;-)

4) You can in theory 'pay' your credit cards through a transaction from your phone.

 

Apple is your bank. 3rd world countries (where banks are reviled), and 1st world convenience (one 'card' with multiple back end funding accounts).

All Apple needs to do is create a monthly/annual statement, saying what was done when, and where the money came/went.

 

Wiring money iphone to iphone.  how hard is that.   enter in a facetime/appleID/email... if apple has it in their AppleID list, they ask you to touchID the transfer, they touchID the receipt, emails reciepts sent. Done.    

 

Apple doesn't need the huge vig the money wiring shops charge.  Just 3%   Of all your money.  is Ours.  3% of a trillion dollars: 30B.  50% expenses.  15B profit.  

 

Somehow I see

Paypal

Square

Western Union

just about every credit card company

 

being disintermediated.

 

And this is the killer app for places where a $600 phone is overkill because LTE doesn't yet exist.  But a $199 iPod Touch with Facetime or a $299 iPad Mini...  or just a $400 iPhone 5s, that in 2 years has a street value of $200.   

 

The only thing I see Apple afraid of is the patriot act et al monitoring money movement.   Every transaction is subject to Gov't review, minimally to cover the AntiMoneyLaundering (AML) statutes.   But, one could argue Apple has to be doing that now (in-app purchases have to be monitored by someone... If I create an app, and then create a player account, stuff in bad money in the front, buying virtual ponies, and out comes 'crisp clean' money in the back... who is tracking this?).

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by longpath View Post

Will this allow people to add credit to Japanese-based AppleIDs, while outside Japan, without having to use an intermediary to purchase Apple iTunes gift cards? There are extensive music and movie products exclusive to the Japanese iTunes Store.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


My guess is no. Those restrictions are set up due to copyright deals so Apple isn't going to do anything that facilitates the easy skirting of the setup. So it will likely be that you can only refill a store account in the country of that account.

I think 'no' is the right answer but for a very different reason at this time.

 

my guess is that you can fund a card from anywhere, but funding your account from outside your country is subject to reporting to BOTH countries, for anti-terrorism, anti-money laundering, and anti-tax avoidance (simplest example:  you find $2000 on a street corner in the US, you are subject to federal and state tax on that, and likely Japan would want to take their cut of your good fortune as well). but you can only be 'in country' to buy something restricted to that country.  The transaction is the nexus point for determining who can buy what.  But on the internet, that's hard, so Apple restricts it further by what store your account is aligned to (which is determined by your home/billing address), in addition to where your current ISP service is coming from.

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