Hi My name is Rich Eicher. I am the CEO and Founder of Skycore and I am here to tell you all about a mobile wallet called passbook will change your lives and your businesses in the next few years.
A little background: Skycore provides Brand mobile marketing & commerce solutions. Sold to agencies as a platform to manage mobile campaigns.
100k + registered businesses. Relative to passbook there are 50+ active ticketing companies, the largest being Tickets.com to medium sizes festivals to smaller nightclub groups. 20+ active event management companies for tradeshows etc. In retail, we are working with a few mPOS solutions to integrate our SDK into their mPOS.
For those of you who do not know, Passbook is Apples mobile Wallet. They deployed in Oct 2012 with IOS6. The IOS6 Update went back to the 3GS model and represented over 97% of iPhones in market. Of those iPhones, nearly 95% have accepted the update today. So with one wiggle of their finger, Apple has installed a mobile commerce enabled wallet into nearly every iPhone and iPod. In the US that represents approximately 40 million devices. The wallet, called Passbook, can store coupons, loyalty cards, memberships and tickets. They can be redeemed through a barcode today as there is no NFC. Until NFC is enabled we will not likely see credit cards in Passbook for Payments.Passbook was designed to be Central. Meaning it is part of the operating system and any application can talk to it. It is a central place where apps can put their coupons and cards so the user can find this stuff easier at checkout.Passbook is neutral. You do not need to pay them for the right to use it or ask for special permission like other mobile wallets (Isis). They do not have favorites or self serving interests except for giving the customer the best experience possible.Passbook is Open. The format has been ported to be supported by other operating systems. There is no special channel requirement to deliver the card to the wallet. There is no gatekeeper. Your only requirement is to obtain an Apple Certificate proving you are a legitimate company.Passbook is Multi-Brand - All cards are stored in one place so a customer does not have to open multiple apps. They do not even need to have a brands app. Passbook functions standalone.
The cards and tickets that are installed into Passbook are called Passes. They have a special file extension which is .pkpass. The pkpass file can be delivered through many channels which is why Passbook is very attractive to brands. It can be delivered through Email, Mobile Web, MMS messaging and via an App installed on the device. So what this means is that while today many of the ways to get a Passbook Pass are through an app like starbucks, its not the only way. We will see going forward that Passes will be issued through non-app channels and give customers the option to also install the app for a richer experience.The other unique thing about Passes is they notify the issuer when they’ve been installed and enable the issuer to send updates via a push notification. Updating the card in the wallet is very attractive as it enables it change over time, or as the incentives or offers change.There are 100’s of Brands deploying Passes today with 1000’s working on their roadmap. I am going to tell you a few things you need to know.
I get asked the question a lot whether passes are supproted on android. My answer is Yes and No. It is not yet natively supported like Apple, but I have a feeling at some point it will be. It is supported by Apps you can download in google play. One app is called Passwallet. After downloading and installing it it becomes your Pass viewer. So Similar how the .mp3 filetype will launch your music player, the Passwallet app can be launched automatically when you receive a pass on Android. The functionality is nearly identical.
While the Pass spec is somewhat rigid, remember this is still in version 1.0 from Apple. It took HTML 10 years to become what it is today. The current specification allows brands to make the passes look unique and distinguishable within the framework. There are many TYPES of passes..Boarding pass, Coupon, Event Ticket, Store Card and Generic Pass (membership, Student ID, etc) and each type can be customized to suit the brand with colors, backgrounds, impages, logos, etc.
Just because you can fit more data in the barcode it doesn’t mean you should. Most of the time the legacy 1d barcode string of numbers will simply be display. 2D codes can contain numeric & alphanumeric characters.Barcodes cannot be read off of phones with Laser Scanners, OCR scanners are required.Apple recommends PDF417 as it takes up the least space (rectangular) and holds the most data.The Barcode can be updated using push notification.The more characters, the more complex the code and harder to read at a distance. 500 is readable. But keep it under 250 characters. Use the Text field if the Barcode ID is small enough. If the scanner is not working properly they can type in the value.
What is Apple Passbook?
What is Apple’s Passbook App?
By Rich Eicher, Skycore LLC