The future looks bright for iOS Passbook
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The future looks bright for iOS Passbook

The Passbook feature introduced in iOS6 hasn't been widely acclaimed (though it's not been lambasted the way the Maps app has). However, the future holds potential for the feature/service.

In case you're not familiar with it, here's how Apple describes it: "Passbook keeps things like airline boarding passes, movie tickets, and gift cards all in one place. Everything’s there -- ready for scanning -- right from your iPhone. You’ll find Passbook-enabled apps on the App Store. And you can get gift cards and more from participating merchants.

"Passbook is time and location based. So your passes and tickets automatically appear on your Lock screen when and where you need them. Arrive at the airport and your boarding pass pops up. If you’re waiting to board the flight and your gate changes, Passbook tells you. And if you decide to grab a coffee on the way to your new gate, your gift card appears when you walk into the cafe."

Passbook has been criticized for the small number of companies that support it, some early connection issues, and difficulty in setting it up. However, the number of companies supporting it are growing, the second issue has been (mostly) resolved, and Apple is reportedly working on the third.

The number of consumers receiving coupons via mobile devices is expected to rise by 30% next year to more than 500 million people, a new report from Juniper Research ( finds. According to the report, continued growth in mobile coupon usage will in part be fueled by the integration of couponing platforms into the leading social networks.

Juniper Research says Apple’s recent high-profile launch of Passbook is also expected to act as a catalyst to both coupon deployments and adoption. For example, the marketing services provider Valassis has recently launched a ‘Red Plum Social Savings’ app in the US which was built with the Facebook platform, while third-party loyalty/marketing and couponing providers such as Codebroker, Eagle Eye, Yowza! and Valpak have already created apps or microsites which deliver vouchers to Apple’s Passbook.

Juniper Research says that increasingly brands were transitioning from using coupons purely to drive retail footfall to strategies designed to develop longer-term relationships with consumers. The research group says that delivery and redemption data analytics are now being used not just to assess the progress of a campaign but to gauge what offers could be tailored to which individuals.

So don't count Passbook out just yet.

-- Dennis Sellers

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