Monday, October 15, 2012

Apple Inc (AAPL); Sharing the iPhone Passbook: Easy As Taking A Screenshot

Passbook is Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s digital wallet app that has been introduced in iOS 6. Passbook lets users load loyalty cards to the app and then keeps track of the balances. Users can then use these cards to make purchases and earn reward points.
Passbook basically works as a bar code repository. Once your loyalty card from a merchant has been loaded, you simply swipe your Apple Inc (AAPL)’s iPhone’s screen, with the card on display, under the bar code scanner at the cashier’s register. And that is about all that there is to it.
But what if you want to ask a friend of yours to pick up a latte from Starbucks for you? (Starbucks has recently added support for Passbook.) According to Cult of Mac writer, Alex Heath, you take a screenshot of you Passbook with the relevant card up front, and simply send it to said friend. The friend can then swipe the image at the cash register and pick up your latte (or whatever else you sent them shopping for). Sounds great, right? Keep reading.
While this gives great flexibility for people who shop heavily using loyalty cards and merchant cards, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s man objective behind Passbook was to make a digital wallet that could take care of users’ banking transactions as well. Banking is a complete game change when compared with loyalty cards. Currently, Passbook is not password protected. So that means whoever has access your iPhone and gets pass the passcode, has access to your Passbook. Passbook also gives location based notifications for your favorite vendors.
These notifications, like the Apple INc (AAPL)’s iPhone Camera app, bypass the passcode and once the notification pops up, you have easy access the entire Passbook app. This is great for helping you to remember your passing by your favorite Target store, but not so great if your iPhone is in the hands of a thief who doesn’t know your passcode, but now knows your bank and has access to all your bank cards. Not so great, right? Right.
Passbook has a long way to go in terms of security if it wants to evolve into the digital wallet for all financial transactions app for iPhone users Apple’s aiming to make it. Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) needs to add layers of security to the app, starting with a password protection option for the app. Location based notifications can also be limited to non-banking outlets.

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