Discover integrates Apple Passbook with cardholder rewards
Discover released an updated version of its financial services application for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, introducing support for Apple's Passbook virtual wallet.
Passbook, introduced with Apple's iOS 6, collects prepaid cards, movie tickets, transit passes, retailer loyalty cards and related documentation in one application for more efficient user access. With the release of Discover Mobile 4.10, cardholders can now add Cashback Bonus rewards including partner gift cards and eCertificates to their iPhone by clicking the "Add to Passbook" icon, redeeming an offer by scanning the reward's unique QR code at the point of sale.
The addition of Discover's rewards moves Passbook another step closer to becoming a full-fledged mobile payment platform. Passbook currently does not offer cash or credit transaction capabilities, but last month, Apple added support for digital gift cards for its own Apple Store retail chain. Consumers may now purchase gift cards through the Apple Store application for iOS and send them via email--the recipient may then download the card to the Passbook app for in-store redemption. Users who select the Passbook option can additionally leverage iOS geofencing technology to generate a gift card reminder when they enter an Apple Store.
Discover rival American Express recently added Passbook support to its own offering, allowing cardholders to receive automatic transaction notifications and view account balances. Apple partners including Starbucks, Target and Fandango have also updated their respective iOS apps to offer Passbook support. Major League Baseball recently said that during a four-team Passbook trial conducted during the final two weeks of the MLB regular season, 12 percent of e-ticket buyers (roughly 1,500 consumers in total) opted for Passbook delivery.
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