Apple's Passbook feature, baked into all their phones since September last year, is providing a real competitive advantage to many retailers who are using it for location based marketing purposes particularly mobile coupons. Retailers are beginning to wake up to the fact that there is now a massive installed base of high value consumers who have this application and can simply download mobile coupons or even have them emailed to them. The functionality inside the application is great for high street retailers enabling location based triggers to prompt consumers to use the coupons when they are near a store, enabling them to time limit the coupons and even update the coupon if they want to change the offer or the value.
About one-third of all digital gift cards that are sent to someone are opened on a smartphone, two-thirds of which are iOS 6 devices, according to new data from gift card firm Cashstar.
The gift vopucher firm said that some 30% of those iOS transactions are now being added to Apple’s Passbook app, which aggregates wallet-related items like gift cards and loyalty cards.
Speaking to technology blog GigaOm, CashStar said that retailers are warming to the idea of mobile coupons and the Passbook app to store them, saying "millions of dollars" have been processed through Passbook.
“We’re seeing very little if any resistance to putting gift cards, which are as good as cash, on a mobile device,” said CashStar VP of Marketing Gene Cornfield. "What we are seeing is that gift cards are getting transformed into mobile reloadable payment cards, and this may be exactly the thing to spur digital wallet adoption."
CashStar added that every “two to three months” the percentage of digital gift cards added to Passbook is doubling.
CashStar makes digital gift cards for several dozen big name brand retailers including Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Sephora, Williams-Sonoma, Gap, Best Buy and others.