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Apple rolls out iTunes Pass to US and Australian customers [u]

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
After rolling out the service in a pilot test last week, Apple late Wednesday made iTunes Pass available at Apple Stores across the U.S. and Australia, allowing customers to recharge their iTunes account balance in-store via a Passbook card.




As noted on Apple's respective U.S. and Australian webpages concerning iTunes gift cards, customers in those countries can now use iTunes Pass to refill their iTunes account balance at brick-and-mortar Apple Stores. The iTunes Pass program first debuted in Japan on Monday.

Apple's new iTunes Pass service is a Passbook-based system in which customers can add funds to a digital iTunes card by paying an Apple specialist in person, rather than using a credit card or buying and scanning iTunes gift cards. The procedure is a reversal of normal Passbook operation, which has customers refill an account balance tied to Passbook card that can then be used for redemption at participating businesses.

Like the Japan rollout, Apple notes "iTunes Pass is not available in Brazil, China and Turkey," suggesting the company is looking to introduce the feature to other countries soon.

Apple introduced Passbook in iOS 6 to store digital assets like gift cards, coupons and boarding passes. Users can download and store cards linked to digital accounts from participating retailers and businesses like the Apple Store, Starbucks and United Airlines.

Update: Apple's iTunes Pass rollout continues and is now active in Germany.
post #2 of 10
I must be missing something. It seems very convoluted. Someone explain - why is this brilliant?
post #3 of 10
It's just news it might be convenient for some people !
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I must be missing something. It seems very convoluted. Someone explain - why is this brilliant?

It will be more useful if I can use it to refill my sons iTunes account using my iPhone camera. Something like this.. I open iTunes on my iPhone then tap a button to input the amount (authenticate using Touch ID) and open the camera to scan the passbook pass to transfer credit.
post #5 of 10
It would only be used for the passbook partner retailers like airlines, airlines, Home Depot, airlines, Starbucks & airlines? 1frown.gif

Digital wallet? Guess I'll just have to scotch tape my Visa card to the back of my iPhone
post #6 of 10

I don't really see the use case. Adults will just tie their credit card to their iTunes account and never bother with passes of any sort. Young people will just buy iTunes gift cards, and typically wait until they're on special.

 

Maybe Apple intends to replace iTunes gift cards with this paperless solution over time.

post #7 of 10

There is only one possible reason for this, and that is that Apple is setting up the iTunes Account in Passbook to serve as a payments solution. Like a Starbucks card, you pre-load the iTunes Passbook with money; but unlike Starbucks, you can use it to pay at many retailers, up to the amount loaded onto it.

 

This solution serves possibly as a test for a full payments solutions whereby the iTunes Passbook is tied to a credit card and has therefore virtually unlimited funds.

 

The option to load the Passbook at Apple stores is only important for young people, and in countries with less credit card penetration.

 

I always wondered why payments solutions had to be so complex (RIFID, fingerprint sensors,  proximity measures, etc). Credit Cards are extremely unsafe (especially in the US where they do not even have Chip + PIN), they just need to be shown, no verification needed at all. Why is it not possible to just have an App with a barcode, tied to a credit card, and the barcode is scanned at any retailer? The iPhone has to be unlocked using a PIN (just like Chip + PIN) and the iPhone 5S even has a fingerprint sensor to avoid inappropriate use.

 

Ok, one could argue, it would be possible to take a picture of the barcode, whereas it is not easy to duplicate a Chip, but how would that happen? How would someone be able to take a picture of a barcode on my phone?

post #8 of 10
I too just don't see the purpose of this. If I want to add money to my iTunes account I can just go into iTunes an buy it digitally and have it e-mailed to myself and then redeemed...
post #9 of 10
Quote:

 

Update: Apple's iTunes Pass rollout continues and is now active in Germany.

It is now available in the UK iTunes Store.

post #10 of 10
"Ok, one could argue, it would be possible to take a picture of the barcode, whereas it is not easy to duplicate a Chip, but how would that happen? How would someone be able to take a picture of a barcode on my phone?"

1. Steal iPhone
2. Quickly go to a passbook locatable store (Apple, Target, Walgreens, etc..)
3. Passbook app recognizes you are in store and shows Passbook icon on lock screen
4. Swipe Passbook Icon - Barcode appears without requiring passcode
5. Snap picture of barcode with another phone before owner of iPhone knows theirs is missing
6. Leave iPhone with customer service or security or whomever
7. Go home, print barcode from second phone.
8. Use Android app to scan barcode and begin stealing
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