Apple Begins Selling Passbook-Enabled Apple Store Gift Cards
Apple has begun selling new gift cards through the recently updated Apple Store iOS app that integrates the gift cards to the iOS 6 native Passbook service, that allows the cards to be quickly used and scanned from the iPhone or iPod Touch for redemption inside a physical Apple Store. The new Passbook-intgerated gift cards are available in various denominations ranging from $25 all the way up to $2,000.
Users can begin buying and gifting these new Passbook-integrated gift cards from the new Apple Store app and the recipient would then get an email notification of the gift card and the ability to add them quickly to Passbook.
Users can also print out the gift cards should they not have an iOS 6 device with Passbook or opt for the old fashioned way, according to Apple Insider.
Presumably, Apple’s payment terminals, which are essentially iPod Touch devices, at Apple retail stores are now updated with the ability for the rear camera to quickly scan the QR codes on the Passbook gift cards when they are pulled up on a customer’s iPhone or iPod Touch.
Passbook is Apple’s emerging solution to mobile wallets such as Google Wallet and Isis on Android. The latter two options integrate with NFC and uses a near-field radio to make the transaction. Passbook on the other hand doesn’t require any new hardware and can be scanned with a camera or barcode scanner and so far has seen adoption from various airlines, Major League Baseball and other sports and events venues, Starbucks, and others.
With Passbook gift-card giving, Apple can potentially pave the way for other merchants to follow suit.