Technology has alleviated our need for many physical products, like DVDs or CDs. Apple may be trying to do away with more plastic, as a recently launched service in Japan allows users to get iTunes Store credit without even snatching a gift card. Called iTunes Pass, the program uses a familiar app to hold onto the credit.
By utilizing Passbook as the backbone for iTunes Pass, Apple has skipped the plastic and gone straight for the cash. There is already the ability to store Apple Store credit in Passbook, so this might end up being another iteration of that.
The way it works, though, still requires a visit to the Apple store. An iTunes Pass application inside Passbook is where the credit is stored, but you’ll still have to visit an Apple Store and tell a store employee just how much cash you’d like to add to your account. They scan the QR code, and your balance is updated immediately.
We don’t know if this allows users to pass credit back and forth, though. It could also be a trial for an Apple mobile payment system, which has been widely rumored to be in the works, and lean on existing payment methods like iTunes and Touch ID. Still a Japan-only thing, Apple is likely using Japan as a test market for a wider rollout soon.
Source: Apple (Japan)