Apple Wallet (Formerly Passbook)

Wallet is Apple’s own solution to digitize loyalty cards and coupons. This article provides background about Wallet, explains what Wallet is and what you can do with it.

What’s Wallet?

Wallet is a standalone iOS app for iPhone and iPod touch, available since iOS 6 on iPhone. In the app, you can add all sorts of different types of tickets, loyalty cards, and coupons. For example:

  • movie tickets
  • boarding passes for public transport
  • coupons from stores
  • loyalty cards from retail chains and supermarkets

The app shows all your different items as cards, as you would also have in your wallet. Previously, the app had also the appearance of a physical wallet with cards, but in iOS 7 Apple has switched to a strict view, as seen below.

Apple Passbook
Passbook app in iOS 8.

You can add physical cards with the camera of your iPhone to the Wallet. These cards must contain a special Wallet barcode. Apps can directly make a connection with Wallet and it is also possible to add cards to Wallet via Safari.

Wallet and Apple Pay

Payment Service Pay Apple also uses Wallet. Your digital debit cards will be displayed in Wallet, then you can pay it by using the NFC chip in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple Wallet Pay

Wallet on Apple Watch

The Apple Watch also has a Wallet app, which lets you view all the cards from the iPhone version. This makes it possible, for example, to quickly scan the QR code on a card from your watch so you do not get the iPhone out of the pocket.

Apps with Wallet support

There are already appropriate apps with built-in Wallet support. In the App Store, Apple has created its own set of apps that support Wallet though the offer is not that great. We illustrate a few examples:

The official Apple Store app (free) uses Wallet. If you make an appointment for the Genius Bar or One to One at the Apple Store you can save your appointment in Wallet. This also applies if you sign up for workshops and events.

The free Expedia app (free) book your hotels and tickets for air travel. You can easily save tickets that you’ve bought in Wallet using your iPhone.

Booking.com (free) is the largest website for finding hotel accommodation. From the free app, you can instantly book and save your reservation through Wallet.

Groupon (free) is a popular app that maps discount deals at many different stores. If you got the discount via the app, you can save your Groupon via Wallet.

The official app of Pathé (free) also supports Wallet. This simply means that your movie tickets that you bought through the app are saved immediately in Wallet. Instead of a paper ticket you so just show your iPhone.

Eventbrite (free) is a popular service used for organizing (large) events. The iPhone app allows you to access the ticket of an event immediately in Wallet.

There are still few stores that make use of Wallet as a replacement for the traditional customer card. That is the main reason that the list of apps, in this case, shows especially applications for tickets. There have been several stores in the past that use Passbook. There appear now increasingly loyalty cards apps for the iPhone, but most are in most stores useless because of outdated barcode scanners. The idea of Apple’s Wallet seems to have address other smartphone manufacturers. Microsoft Windows 8.1 comes with unofficial support for Apple’s Wallet.