Purchasing a physical iTunes gift card could become a thing of the past, thanks to the launch of a new service called iTunes Pass. It cuts out the need for a gift card by using the Passbook app instead. Here’s how it works. When you visit an Apple Store in in search of an iTunes, App Store, or iBookstore gift card, you now simply pay the cashier, who then credits your iTunes account by scanning a special pass inside Passbook on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.
Updated on 07-17-2014 by Andy Boxall: Apple has now expanded iTunes Pass into the U.S., the UK, and Australia, after initially launching the service in Japan on July 15.
Why would you want to do this? It’s more convenient than entering the ridiculously long code, and if it’s used widely, iTunes Pass could minimize the production of the little cards themselves.
It initially only went live in Japan, where wireless payments using smartphones or smart cards are already very popular. Japan was also an obvious place to test iTunes Pass, thanks not only to the familiarity with wireless payments, but also because it recently became Apple’s number one market in the world.
Apple has subsequently soft launched iTunes Pass – not this iTunes Pass though – in several other countries including the U.S., and according to the official iTunes Gifts page, it’s easy to get iTunes Pass on your iOS device. Simply sign in to the iTunes Store, then scroll down until you see the Redeem option, tap it, and then select iTunes Pass, when a new pass will be added to Passbook.
With continued talk of the company introducing a mobile payment system with the iPhone 6, iTunes Pass could be one of the first stages, and we could hear more during the new device’s announcement, which is expected to be sometime in September or October.
Article originally published on 15-07-2014