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Old Jul 15, 2014, 03:08 AM   #1
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Apple Launches 'iTunes Pass' at Japanese Stores, Enabling Customers to Refill iTunes Credit With Passbook [Updated]




Apple today debuted its new iTunes Pass service in its Japanese retail stores, allowing customers to purchase iTunes Store credit directly without the need for physical gift cards, reports 9to5Mac.

A photo about the feature from Apple's Japanese website (Google Translate)
To use the service, customers add a new iTunes Pass inside of the existing Passbook application found in iOS, and then locate a Specialist inside an Apple Retail Store. Once the iTunes Pass is presented to the Specialist, the customer can say how much money they want added, which is then instantly transferred to an iTunes account.

It is not known when the new service will be rolled out to Apple Retail Stores worldwide, however it is likely that the company is testing the program in Japan ahead of a larger rollout. In 2012, Apple enabled users to store Apple Store gift cards in Passbook, and also allowed users to email Passbook enabled gift card to friends through the app.

Earlier this year, it was also reported that Apple was working on its own mobile payments service, which could be similar to iTunes Pass. According to that report, the company's mobile payment solution would be integrated directly into iOS, allowing people to use their devices to purchase physical goods on the web and in physical retail stores.

Update 1:52 AM: As spotted by iGeneration, the bottom of Apple's Japanese iTunes Gifts page (Google Translate) says that iTunes Pass is not available in Brazil, China, and Turkey. This may indicate that the service may be set up to launch worldwide shortly.

Article Link: Apple Launches 'iTunes Pass' at Japanese Stores, Enabling Customers to Refill iTunes Credit With Passbook [Updated]
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 03:11 AM   #2
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Apple today debuted its new iTunes Pass service in its Japanese retail stores, allowing customers to purchase iTunes Store credit directly without the need for physical gift cards, reports 9to5Mac.

To use the service, customers add a new iTunes Pass inside of the existing Passbook application found in iOS, and then locate a Specialist inside an Apple Retail Store. Once the iTunes Pass is presented to the Specialist, the customer can say how much money they want added, which is then instantly transferred to an iTunes account.

It is not known when the new service will be rolled out to Apple Retail Stores worldwide, however it is likely that the company is testing the program in Japan ahead of a larger rollout. In 2012, Apple enabled users to store Apple Store gift cards in Passbook, and also allowed users to email Passbook enabled gift card to friends through the app.

Earlier this year, it was also reported that Apple was working on its own mobile payments service, which could be similar to iTunes Pass. According to that report, the company's mobile payment solution would be integrated directly into iOS, allowing people to use their devices to purchase physical goods on the web and in physical retail stores.

Article Link: Apple Launches 'iTunes Pass' at Japanese Stores, Enabling Customers to Refill iTunes Credit With Passbook
Great idea....

But before Apple roll this out in the UK I'd like to see a few more Passbook apps on that particular section of the App Store.

Am led to believe one or two companies now incorporate it into their apps but they don't appear on the link you click within Passbook itself.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 03:15 AM   #3
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Is the text in the image from an Apple web site or has it been run through a translation process as the wording seems to be all over the place?
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 03:16 AM   #4
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Is the text in the image from an Apple web site or has it been run through a translation process as the wording seems to be all over the place?
I'd say it's been run through a translation process.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 03:21 AM   #5
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Great idea....

But before Apple roll this out in the UK I'd like to see a few more Passbook apps on that particular section of the App Store.

Am led to believe one or two companies now incorporate it into their apps but they don't appear on the link you click within Passbook itself.
Thats because they want you in their app where they can bombard you with other offers and crap
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 03:22 AM   #6
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But before Apple roll this out in the UK I'd like to see a few more Passbook apps on that particular section of the App Store.
As far as I can tell, everything shown in the screenshot used in this article (apart from "iTunes Pass") is only available in the US. Kinda shows how few options there are internationally.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 03:31 AM   #7
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As far as I can tell, everything shown in the screenshot used in this article (apart from "iTunes Pass") is only available in the US. Kinda shows how few options there are internationally.
It does indeed.

Out of all the apps listed on the App Store (which seemingly haven't changed within the last 6 months, if not longer) the only one I use is the Apple Store option.

There's no mention of Cineworld UK, Subway, M&S or Starbucks for example.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 03:31 AM   #8
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The use of credit cards isn't as common in Japan as it is in the west, so it makes sense that they would launch this kind of service there.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 03:37 AM   #9
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I'm really failing to understand what this is.

Why does someone need to go to an Apple store to put credit on their account?

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Originally Posted by iGeek2014 View Post
It does indeed.

Out of all the apps listed on the App Store (which seemingly haven't changed within the last 6 months, if not longer) the only one I use is the Apple Store option.

There's no mention of Cineworld UK, Subway, M&S or Starbucks for example.
Starbucks still has it. They 'updated' (though it seemed more like deleted from the App Store and recreated) their app and it disappeared from the Passbook list. The Passbook functionality still works as it always did. Apple just doesn't seem to have recognised the new version.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 04:15 AM   #10
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Nice, but I'll still keep buying the cards from retailers who are offering 20% off. Never too hard to find.

Now if Apple would let me buy big stuff with my iTunes balance, that would be wonderful!
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 05:13 AM   #11
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It does indeed.

Out of all the apps listed on the App Store (which seemingly haven't changed within the last 6 months, if not longer) the only one I use is the Apple Store option.

There's no mention of Cineworld UK, Subway, M&S or Starbucks for example.
http://makemeapass.azurewebsites.net

ask if you want something specific. and nope I'm not him

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I'm really failing to understand what this is.

Why does someone need to go to an Apple store to put credit on their account?

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If you forget your credit card or money or like me don't carry a card anymore you can walk into an apple store and buy stuff using only your iPhone.

Usually I get money via a cash point using the get cash feature in iPhone natwest app. This new store feature means I won't have to goto the hole in the wall, I can just use my iPhone.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 05:20 AM   #12
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"If you forget your credit card or money or like me don't carry a card anymore you can walk into an apple store and buy stuff using only your iPhone.

Usually I get money via a cash point using the get cash feature in iPhone natwest app. This new store feature means I won't have to goto the hole in the wall, I can just use my iPhone."

But it's iTunes Pass, not Apple Store pass :/

I'm so confused by this.

(Apologies for strange quoting)
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 05:30 AM   #13
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"If you forget your credit card or money or like me don't carry a card anymore you can walk into an apple store and buy stuff using only your iPhone.

Usually I get money via a cash point using the get cash feature in iPhone natwest app. This new store feature means I won't have to goto the hole in the wall, I can just use my iPhone."

But it's iTunes Pass, not Apple Store pass :/

I'm so confused by this.

(Apologies for strange quoting)
Seems previous poster is a bit confused by this. What it means is you can hand over cash in an Apple store for iTunes account credit. It's not hard to understand.

Buying from the store with just an iPhone has been possible for a while now and it's completely separate.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 05:36 AM   #14
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Seems previous poster is a bit confused by this. What it means is you can hand over cash in an Apple store for iTunes account credit. It's not hard to understand.

Buying from the store with just an iPhone has been possible for a while now and it's completely separate.
So it's just for the privacy people who don't store their credit card info with Apple?

If your credit card is stored with Apple, you can already buy an email iTunes voucher for yourself at any location, hence my confusion. It's nice that it eliminates the unnecessary email step but my confusion came with the Apple Store part since that is unnecessary - unless, as you say, it's for people who deal only in cash.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 06:16 AM   #15
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So it's just for the privacy people who don't store their credit card info with Apple?

If your credit card is stored with Apple, you can already buy an email iTunes voucher for yourself at any location, hence my confusion. It's nice that it eliminates the unnecessary email step but my confusion came with the Apple Store part since that is unnecessary - unless, as you say, it's for people who deal only in cash.
It seems like it might be a great thing for kids - say they have an iPod touch but no credit card and a bit of pocket money, they can go to the Apple Store, connect to the Wifi, have their iPod scanned and buy iTunes credit for apps and music.

When I didn't have a card, I was limited to buying credit in £15 denominations, so this would've been a great help.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 06:54 AM   #16
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I'm confused ... Don't they need cash or a credit card to PAY for that refill ?

Is this only for people who want to put less than $15 on their account ? Because you can easily buy an iTunes gift card at an Apple Store, peel the sticker and snap a picture of it which loads right into your account .

Last edited by newyorksole; Jul 15, 2014 at 07:18 AM.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 07:21 AM   #17
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That description was about as Engrish as it gets. Who wrote that?! Certainly doesn't seem legit Apple. None of this seems to be legit Apple...
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 07:49 AM   #18
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That description was about as Engrish as it gets. Who wrote that?! Certainly doesn't seem legit Apple. None of this seems to be legit Apple...
Apple wrote it in Japanese, Google translated it.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 07:52 AM   #19
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so you give them cash to put on your pass and then you pay with said pass? why not just pay with the cash you handed to them in the first place
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 08:05 AM   #20
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Apple wrote it in Japanese, Google translated it.
Ah.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 08:23 AM   #21
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so you give them cash to put on your pass and then you pay with said pass? why not just pay with the cash you handed to them in the first place
Right? That's what I'm not understanding.

So with this could you use your iTunes credit to purchase hardware and other goods at the Apple Store?
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 08:37 AM   #22
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Right? That's what I'm not understanding.

So with this could you use your iTunes credit to purchase hardware and other goods at the Apple Store?
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so you give them cash to put on your pass and then you pay with said pass? why not just pay with the cash you handed to them in the first place
From my understanding, this is just a way of adding balance to your iTunes account - not to pay for goods from an Apple Store.

For people without a card, this would give them more flexibility of the amount they can add to their account without buying gift cards. As I posted earlier, may be useful for kids without a card who want to purchase apps.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 09:09 AM   #23
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The use of credit cards isn't as common in Japan as it is in the west, so it makes sense that they would launch this kind of service there.
Huh? We use credit cards all the time here in Japan.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 09:11 AM   #24
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Apple Launches 'iTunes Pass' at Japanese Stores, Enabling Customers to Refill...

The only way I could see it being useful is if you wanted to add an odd amount to your balance I guess. Like you want to add $1.99 to your account... Am I correct? Other than that it seems totally useless. Just buy a iTunes gift card available at way more places and umm via their website for immediate redemption.

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Just reread this again... There has to be something missing because honestly I don't see the point of this service either.
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Old Jul 15, 2014, 09:45 AM   #25
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I'm really failing to understand what this is.

Why does someone need to go to an Apple store to put credit on their account?
Japan is one of a handful of cultures that doesn't really do the whole credit card thing. They debit yes but don't really credit. So the whole iTunes prepaid option is more used there. This is a way to do it but more ecofriendly cause you don't have to buy a card to redeem and then trash.

What I want to know if how many accounts can you attach. Can I have a pass, say for my account and my little brothers. So if I wanted to gift him some money could I use this instead of having to log in etc.

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So it's just for the privacy people who don't store their credit card info with Apple?
Not at all. I'm not worried about my privacy when it comes to Apple (unlike say google etc) but I don't put my credit card on my account. Too easy to run up a huge bill. I use prepaid cards to keep my spending under control. This system will eliminate steps. Especially if my boyfriend can do it when he's at work for me cause he can put my account on his pass.

Or when I'm buying gifts for the family. Again if I can put other accounts on my pass

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so you give them cash to put on your pass and then you pay with said pass? why not just pay with the cash you handed to them in the first place
No. Passbook translates your Apple ID credentials into an alphanumeric code that is used in their system to credit your account with whatever funds you just handed to them, which is run up on their device.

It's the same as buying a plastic card with cash, scratching off the strip and punching in the code to put the credit on your account. Only without the actual card part.
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