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How to Use Passbook in iOS 8



Passbook is an app in iOS 8 that can turn your iPhone into a digital wallet of sorts that you can stuff with tickets, loyalty cards, boarding passes, etc., as well as store your credit cards to use with Apple Pay, as the company’s payment platform is built into Passbook. Here’s how to set up and use Passbook in iOS 8.

Passbook is an app that comes pre-installed on all iPhones, and while some users know how to use it right out of the box, others might not know what Passbook is all about and how in the world it works.

Passbook gives you the ability to put your loyalty cards, event tickets, boarding passes, etc. onto your iPhone and scan them from your device whenever you need them, that way you don’t have to carry around extra paperwork with you.

Furthermore, if you have an iPhone 6, Passbook also includes Apple Pay, which lets you pay for goods at participating locations by simply using your iPhone 6 at the cash register. You simply just hover your device over the pay terminal and Apple Pay will automatically pop up on your iPhone 6. From there, simply scan your fingerprint on the Touch ID sensor and off you go.


Here’s how to set up Passbook and get your various loyalty cards and other scannable items onto your iPhone running iOS 8.

What You Should Know

Before you go to set up Passbook, it’s important to note that it does have its limitations, with the biggest limitation being the inability to store every single barcode from any store.

Unfortunately, Passbook only works with iOS apps that support Passbook, so there are only a handful of stores that you can store loyalty cards for in Passbook, and the same goes for airlines with boarding passes — not all airline apps for iPhone support Passbook.

However, most of the big players in retail, tickets, and boarding passes offer Passbook support. To view all iOS apps that come with Passbook support, head to the iTunes App Store.

How to Set Up Passbook

To set up Passbook and add passes to the app, you’ll first need something to add to it, whether that’d be a loyalty card, an event ticket, or a boarding pass for an upcoming flight. You’ll need something to add before you can set up and use Passbook.

For our example, we’ll use a Walgreens Balance Rewards Card. The first thing you’ll need to do is download the Walgreens app in order to add your Walgreens Rewards Card to Passbook.

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Once the app is downloaded and installed, fire it up and log in using your credentials. From there, locate your rewards card (in this instance, we’ll tap on Balance Rewards, which will bring up a scannable barcode). From there, you can add it to Passbook by tapping on Add to Passbook.

You can now open up the Passbook app and your Walgreens Balance Rewards card will show up. From there, you can tap on it to bring it up and scan it at the cash register.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to download and install the app just to add the loyalty card to Passbook, you can scan the barcode while in the Passbook app if you have the physical card with you.

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To do this, just swipe down on the screen while in the Passbook app and then tap on the plus icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. From there, tap on Scan Code to scan the barcode of a loyalty card, event ticket, boarding pass, etc.

How to Set Up Apple Pay

Apple Pay allows you to store your credit card information on your iPhone and use it to buy stuff at any store that supports Apple Pay. The iPhone 6 has an NFC chip that allows you to tap the pay terminal at a store to instantly buy goods.

Furthermore, doing this doesn’t give the store your credit card information, so you’re less susceptible to store hacks that steal credit card information, similar to the recent Home Depot and the Target hacks.

Apple Pay also works with mobile shopping apps, allowing you to pay with a single touch of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in shopping apps that support the feature.

Apple Pay

To set up Apple Pay, you’ll need to be running iOS 8.1 or newer and you’ll need an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

First thing’s first, open up the Passbook app. Swipe down anywhere until you see a plus icon appear in the upper-right corner of the screen. Tap on that plus icon.

Go ahead and tap on Set Up Apple Pay to begin the process. There are two ways to add a credit or debit card to your Apple Pay wallet. One way is quickly adding your card that you already have on file with Apple for iTunes purchases. You can tap on Use Card on File with iTunes for this, or just select Use a Different Credit or Debit Card.

If you choose the former, all you’ll need to do is enter in the security code of that card and click Next to add to your Apple Pay wallet. That’s all there is to it!


If you choose to add your own credit or debit card, the process takes a bit longer, but is still quick and really easy.

When selecting Use a Different Credit or Debit Card, you can either enter in the card details manually (your name, the card number, expiration date, and security code) or take a photo of your card and have Apple Pay enter in those details automatically by reading the numbers on the card using the camera, but you’ll still need to enter in the security code manually.


Depending on what card you add and what bank it’s with, you may have to use that bank’s verification system. In my case, I had to get a verification code from Chase in order to verify Chase Freedom card. But after I received it and entered it into Apple Pay, the card was verified and activated and is now ready to use.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Paul Tomes

    01/05/2015 at 11:50 am

    Excellent advice. Thanks for sharing. Retailers can easily offer their customers digital passes to store along side their credit cards in passbook by using The shift from the leather wallet is happening.

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