Apple just launched the new version of the operating system: iOS 9.3. Despite not being spoken on March 2016 Apple event there were small changes/improvements on Apple Wallet.

  1. App Icon

Apple Wallet News with iOS 9_Open AppApple Wallet has been an amazing channel for brands to engage with their customers and one of the features was allowing brands to promote their App at the back of their passes.

With the new iOS 9.3, if a brand integrates the App with the pass, the App icon will also appear on the bottom left of the front of the pass where previously was the share icon

If you tap on the icon one of two things will happen; if the App is already install it will automatically open, otherwise you will be directed to the App store to download the App.

  1. Share Link

Apple Wallet News with iOS 9_Share PassSince the begging of Apple Wallet on the bottom left corner of the pass there was share icon. By tapping on that icon users were allowed to share their pass via message, mail or airdrop.

In iOS 9.3, and covered by previous point, the share icon has been removed and now appears on the back of the pass as a link right bellow the Automatic Updates and Suggest on Lock Screen.


Sephora has built a reputation as a big player in mobile. The Sephora mobile strategy is wide ranging and might seem complex, but there is a pattern that they use repeatedly.

First, and most important, Sephora strategy is customer focussed and on providing an informed experience, rather than holistic or technology focussed. Secondly, with the customer always at the centre, Sephora develops integrated cross-channel strategies that merge seamless for the customer.

“Sephora strategy
is customer-focused
and on providing
an informed experience”

Sephora knows digital. They know the importance of mobile and how mobile fits into the bigger picture, whether online or offline and, most of all, they understand how to combine and move between channels in a way that makes sense to their customers.

Sephora have their hands in Web, App, social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest), CRM, email, SMS, mobile commerce, digital loyalty using Apple Wallet Passes (Passbook) and more.


Main Elements of Sephora’s Mobile Strategy

  • Updated & excellent usability on the Website
  • Good mobile App
  • CRM with Email and SMS
  • Apple Wallet (Passbook) with Loyalty Card, Discount Coupons and Gift Cards
  • Integration with social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
  • Mobile Shopping experience
  • Seamless experience across functionalities and promotions
  • Active promotion of mobile features across all channels

Overview of Mobile Results and Performance

  • 1/3 of all traffic to the Sephora website is from mobile devices
  • Over 50% of Sephora’s emails are opened on mobile devices
  • Mobile website (full shopping and Beauty Insider)
  • Successful Sephora Apps
  • More than 600,000 Sephora customers who have their Loyalty Card installed it on Apple Wallet
  • Apple Wallet users spend twice as much annually and purchase twice as frequently as average Sephora customers

“1/3 of all traffic to the Sephora website is from mobile devices”

There is a lot to learn from the way Sephora has implemented their mobile strategy.  Sephora has driven significant value from connecting in-store and offline media with Mobile Apps and Apple Wallet Passes, using multiple channels to build awareness.  Email, SMS, Mobile Media, QR Codes and loyalty programmes have been put to good effect in supporting consistent brand messaging throughout.

For retailers, integration with existing loyalty programs makes excellent sense as a first step into mobile. And the use of services like Apple Wallet to enable digital loyalty cards, offers and coupon redemption are a must have without the need to build custom technology.

Passworks Mobile Marketing is ready for iOS 9! Are you?


The new iOS 9 is here and running on your iPhone, bringing impressive new features and refinements at every level. With iOS 9, Passbook has been rebranded as Apple Wallet, bringing the whole mobile wallet concept into your iPhone.

Passworks newsletter iOS 9-03

What´s new on Apple Wallet?


  1. Passworks newsletter iOS 9-04 From Passbook to Apple Wallet

The evolution of Passbook to Wallet offers full Apple Pay integration bringing to front and center the idea of a wallet on your phone, allowing iPhones to make secure and effortless payments at contactless points of sale, by combining ground-breaking NFC technology and Touch ID. Currently, Apple Pay is already available in the US and UK.



  1. Passworks newsletter iOS 9-05Digital Loyalty Cards Integration with Apple Wallet

Passbook already allowed to store your boarding passes, tickets, rewards cards, and more. With Apple Wallet, exists a new intelligence layer, which means that passes and Apple Wallet will better work together to provide users a more convenient system for coupons and digital loyalty cards.

With the help of Apple Wallet, Apple Pay will know exactly what card you need when you are in a store and automatically presents the right option. These new features are already being supported by Dunkin´Donuts, Walgreens Balance Rewards, MyPanera, among others. Soon, you will also be able to use your store credit cards whilst getting all the benefits by using Apple Pay.


This integration between Apple Pay and Wallet creates an opportunity for brands that invest in mobile wallet marketing because these digital coupons, store cards and loyalty cards will become much more relevant. With Passworks, you can easily integrate your loyalty or store cards with Apple Wallet.

Passworks newsletter iOS 9-06


Passworks newsletter iOS 9-07

  1. Passes supporting EAN 128 Barcode (1D Barcode)

One of the biggest changes with iOS is that it allows the usage of 1D barcodes with the support of the EAN 128 barcode format. This was one of the retailers’ major requests, due to most of them only having 1D-capable barcode readers, which would imply an investment into 2D-capable barcode readers, if 1D was not supported.


Passworks newsletter iOS 9-08



Passworks has already upgraded its platform to allow for the creation of passes that leverage the 1D barcode format. Now, customers can create passes with the EAN 128 barcode for iOS 9 and above users, while choosing a fallback barcode for users with iOS 8 and below, which cannot display 1D barcodes.



Passworks newsletter iOS 9-09

  1. Integration of mobile wallet content with iAD

Another great news for marketers is that Apple Wallet will now allow companies to send mobile wallet content through iAD, Apple’s mobile advertising platform. This new functionality is called Offers.

As mentioned on Apple iAD news, “Offer is a suite of services for marketers who want to develop customized dynamic messages, such as mobile coupons, that consumers can save to Apple Wallet, which is pre-installed in every iPhone”.


Currently, using Passworks platform, marketers can already distribute their mobile wallet content to their target audience through their ad campaign on Facebook or Twitter, via email or messages. With this feature, consumers can easily add their Pass into Apple Wallet by just clicking a button.


Learn more on how you can start using mobile wallets for your business and engage with your consumers in real-time, with location relevant targeting, here.

How to Use Apple Pay

Tim Cook named 2015 “the year of Apple Pay”! Apple´s mobile payment platform is a huge success and it´s getting even bigger, with an impressive number of banking partners and retail stores accepting that are growing every day.

Nevertheless, there are still two questions that are raised. How Apple Pay works and how to get the iPhone ready for it.


Get your iPhone ready

Before you start, you must have a compatible device and the correct iOS version.

For in-store purchase, Apple Pay is only supported by iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and now by the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, due to the fact that those iPhones are equipped with NFC and also have the touch ID sensor. For in-App purchase, and additionally to the iPhones listed previously, Apple Pay also works with iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4 and iPad Pro.

You will also need to update the iOS version of your iPhone to 8.1 or a newest version to activate Apple Pay functionality.

Once your iPhone is setup, you will need to link a credit or debit card to use for payments. If you already have a card associated to your Apple ID account to make App Store or iTunes payments, you can choose to associate that card with Apple Pay.

Otherwise, you can also add additional cards to Passbook Wallet. Just open Passbook and tap the plus sign on the the top right corner. Tap “Add Another Card” and then follow the entry fields with the card information or speed the process by taking a picture of your card with your iPhone.

Once a card is added to Passbook, your iPhone will guide you through the entire setup process, validating your card, granting access to Apple Pay and finally to store it in Passbook. The card linked to your Apple ID will be your default card in Apple Pay but you can always change it in the future by going to Passbook settings.


Apple Pay on Apple Watch

Even if you are already using Apple Pay on your iPhone, you need to add your payment cards to your Apple Watch using the Apple Watch App on your iPhone.

Go to the Apple Watch App on your iPhone and tap on Passbook & Apple Pay. Then tap “Add Credit or Debit Card” and follow the instructions to add the card details and to associate it to Apple Pay. After your card is verified, you will receive a notification on your Apple Watch saying your card is ready for Apple Pay.


How Apple Pay works

When buying something at a physical store, you hold your iPhone close to the wireless payment terminal and then use the touch IP to finish and validate your purchase. The beauty of Apple Pay is that you don´t even need to unlock your iPhone or launch Passbook, since the phone will automatically wake up when it gets in the range of the terminal and initiates the payment process.

You can also use your Apple Watch to pay on a brick and mortar store. In those situations, you have to double press the button underneath the digital crown which will bring up your default Apple Pay card. Then, hold your Watch close to the contactless payment terminal until you hear a beep and/or feel a vibration.

If you decide to by something on online partner store using any of the Apple Pay supported devices, you will just use Touch ID to complete and validate the purchase.

Currently Apple Pay is already available in the US and in the UK. And what makes Apple Pay a success, is the growing retail acceptance and the easiness to use.

It’s the Apple season time!

Yesterday was the Apple event in San Francisco and it was massive, presenting its new lineup of products and updates. From Apple Watch bands to the new iPad Pro, passing by the new Apple TV and finishing with the announcement of the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.


Apple Watch

Apple Watches

Apple announced that the Watch was gaining new bands, with the special mention of stylish new designs from Hermes and others, and that the Apple Watch Sport had some new finishes.

Additionally, the company showcased watchOS2 that will be official released on 16th of September.


iPad Pro

Apple iPad Pro

Apple unveiled their ultimate and the most powerful iPad ever, the iPad Pro. This beautiful new iPad has a high definition 12.9” screen with enough screen real estate to allow split, “full-screen” multitasking.

The main details of the new iPad Pro are:

  • 9” screen rocking a 2,732 x 2,048 display,
  • 9 mm thin and 712 grams’ weights,
  • Powerful new A9X chip that is 1.8x than the A8,
  • 10 hour battery life,
  • 8MP iSight camera,
  • Touch ID, and
  • Powerful four speaker audio.


Combining with the iPAd Pro, Apple also introduced the iPad Keyboard and the Precise Apple Pencil.

The iPad Pro is really aiming to be a content creation machine, and to do so, Apple wanted it to have a physical keyboard to handle. The presented keyboard, is very similar to Microsoft Surface keyboard.

Apple also announced a stylus for iPad, which they dubbed as Apple Precise Pencil since is accurate “to the pixel”.


iPad Mini 4

Apple iPad Mini

Apple did a brief mention to the new iPad Mini 4, referring that the mini´s internals have been update and that now it had the same power as the iPad Air 2.


Apple TV

Apple TV

Apple revisited the Apple TV device, with a new App store (a clear believe of Tim Cook that the future of TV is apps), OS (tvOS) and a multitouch remote with a powerful Siri support. There is also a more emphasis on casual gaming with the new Apple TV.

But the star of the new Apple TV is definitely its remote with the new Siri powered touch versatile remote. The new Apple TV Remote is a Bluetooth 4.0 powered that allows user a much more advanced control due to its variety of inputs.


iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Apple iPhone

Tim Cook unveiled the two new iPhones, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The updated new devices bring to life several new features, from which the new 3D touch is the most interesting because it can be a major evolution in how user interact with their iPhones. These new devices have a new and improved 12MP camera that shoots 4K video.

The main details of the new iPhone 6s and iPhones 6s Plus are:

  • 3D Touch,
  • 64-bit A9 chip,
  • 12MO back camera with 4K video recording.
  • 5MP FaceTime HD and Retina Flash,
  • Extra-quick new Touch ID.
  • Better WiFi support.


The 3D Touch for iPhone revealed, empowers the devices to sense pressure and give tactile feedback to user. Ultimately, 3D Touch is about saving users taps and getting them to what they want more quickly.

Both new iPhones, are bringing a more quality photography experience with a new and improved 12MP iSight Cameras that can shoot 4K video. There is also a new front facing camera with 5MP HD.

During the new iPhones presentation, it was also announced the official release date of Apple´s new mobile operating system, the iOS9, which will happen on the 16th of September.

To summarise in brief words, it was a great event with very exciting new hardware presented and that finished with the sound of One Direction.


*The images here used are property of

Why Passbook will be renamed Wallet

— Passbook —

Apple launched Passbook App in September 2012. Passbook is a pre-installed App with the purpose of dematerializing physical cards, tickets and coupons into mobile passes and storing them into one single place.

Since 2012, the passes have been gaining awareness among several industries, with a high focus on air travel and retail. Marketers caught the eye on a huge digital marketing potential by using Passbook to engage via mobile with their customers.

However, the commercial roll out and adherence, mainly from the brand´s side, of Passbook at the beginning was slow which let to a low usage and awareness. If Passbook was like a normal wallet why couldn’t it support payments? What was the point of it?

— Apple Pay —

In September 2014, Apple announced that it was partnering with Visa, MasterCard and American Express, which allowed consumers to store their credit and debit cards and to pay through their iPhones. In October 2014, with the official launch of Apple Pay at the United States for iPhones 6 and 6 Plus, all the messages and doubts were simplified as each Apps had their own roles. Just 6 months after the launch, Apple Pay acceptance and usage was growing fast, giving consumers access to contactless payments with Apple Pay in more than 700.000 locations.

On July 2015, and after a huge success on the US, Apple Pay was launched in the UK, supporting about 70 percent of all British credit and debit cards, and services such as Post Office and other popular stores and restaurants.

— Wallet —

A physical wallet contains all types of credit and debit cards, store cards, membership cards and papers, such as coupons or boarding passes. So, it´s natural that a mobile wallet, where all the above is also stored together uses the Wallet name to communicate the same purpose: commercial transactions and relationships between the consumer and the brand. Consequentially, in 2015 with the release of the new iOS 9, Apple merged both Passbook and Apple Pay Apps into one only brand named Wallet.

With the launch of IOS 9, there is a major change which is the possibility of having a new code: EAN 128. This will allow Apple Wallet to grow faster driven by both brands and POS acceptance. In addition to this add-on, thanks to the location-based features linked to Passbook and the new iOS Maps, Wallet now knows which card you need when you’re in a given store and presents the right option. Also, these passes can now be distributed through Safari or scanned using the built-in scanner inside the App.

Starting this fall, Apple Pay will support Walgreens Balance Rewards, Kohl’s, Coca-Cola, Dunkin’ Donuts, Panera Bread, and Wegmans.


Altogether, Apple Wallet presents itself as the main mobile wallet competitor. This statement translates in offering a stronger mobile marketing opportunity for brands, with a higher reach and effectiveness that no brand should refuse.

The benefits of Apple Passbook for brands

Passbook offers brands a significant opportunity to drive engagement with customers and increase store foot traffic through one convenient app.

Passbook is an app native to Apple devices, pre-installed on all operating systems that run iOS6 or later. The essential premise is one place to store coupons, event tickets, loyalty cards and the like, but more than just being a digital wallet, it also represents huge marketing potential for brands.

The fact that Passbook is a default app means a target audience already exist that are accustomed to using it. As an example, in the US Passbook is already the 4th most popular mobile commerce app and a fifth of all iPhone users already use it to download coupons. Furthermore, with over 300 million iPhones around the world and all future devices set to have Passbook installed, the wide range of users that brands can reach is vast.

The convenience of having all a wallet’s non-payment aspects in one app is beneficial to both brand and customer. For example, the easier access to both coupons and loyalty cards allows brands to offer their customers a seamless interchange between the two whilst increasing sales and providing better customer service.

Location-based notifications enhance the dynamic features of a Passbook pass allowing brands to send updated information to their customer’s phone via push notifications, which highlights the potential to refine marketing strategies with more personalised, relevant offers. Apple’s iBeacon technology has already paved the way for geolocation to play a key role in brand to customer interaction.

Incorporating Passbook passes into a brand’s existing mobile marketing strategy has been shown to boost sales and increase coupon conversion rates, with 64% higher conversions compared to regular mobile web coupons. It also provides a totally different platform to a brand’s app, as consumers don’t want to fill their phones with apps for every different shop or restaurant, and require a simpler, more expedient way of utilising their smartphone whilst in-store.

Crucially for smaller brands, Passbook doesn’t need an app to work alongside it, as passes can be added straight to it via email, SMS or distribution campaigns in social networks. This opens up the barriers to entry, enabling brands with smaller resources to have a cost-effective way to offer their customers mobile content and drive up sales.

Passworks platform enable brands to create a pass, manage and distribute a marketing campaign that may take the form of digital coupons, membership or loyalty cards, and events or travel tickets, via Apple Passbook.