Starbucks coming to Apple’s Passbook before October

When Apple unveiled the latest version of its mobile operating system back in June, its new Passbook app was trumpeted as one of its main features.

Passbook acts as a kind of digital wallet, a place for users to store and organize tickets, boarding passes, store cards and coupons.

iOS 6 launched this week, introducing millions of owners of Apple’s iPhone to the new app. Of course, it’s useless without companies supporting it, and the early indications are that, over time, plenty of businesses will go with it.

A number of airlines, for example, are thought to be gearing up to integrate with Passbook – American Airlines has already confirmed its intention – while today Starbucks announced it would be offering Passport support by the end of this month.

The news came via the coffee chain’s Twitter feed on Friday. Many regular Starbucks customers may already be paying for their drinks using the company’s existing app, which also allows users to manage their Starbucks Card balance, top up their card, and send friends eGifts, among other things. In 2011, the Starbucks app, available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices, accounted for 26 million transactions.  

Passbook integration could make the process of handing over your hard-earned readies even simpler, with, for example, the app opening automatically when the phone detects its owner’s arrival at a store. But if you’re a fan of Starbuck’s current app, which evidently already has some pretty major functionality, does integration with Passbook sound like such a big deal?

For a closer look at Passbook and its chances of becoming a true digital wallet, be sure to check out Geoff Duncan’s in-depth piece on the new app here.

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