Apple Launches 'iTunes Pass' at Japanese Stores, Enabling Customers to Refill iTunes Credit With Passbook [Updated]

Apple today debuted its new iTunes Pass service in its Japanese retail stores, allowing customers to purchase iTunes Store credit directly without the need for physical gift cards, reports 9to5Mac.

itunes_pass_Japan

A photo about the feature from Apple's Japanese website (Google Translate)

To use the service, customers add a new iTunes Pass inside of the existing Passbook application found in iOS, and then locate a Specialist inside an Apple Retail Store. Once the iTunes Pass is presented to the Specialist, the customer can say how much money they want added, which is then instantly transferred to an iTunes account.

It is not known when the new service will be rolled out to Apple Retail Stores worldwide, however it is likely that the company is testing the program in Japan ahead of a larger rollout. In 2012, Apple enabled users to store Apple Store gift cards in Passbook, and also allowed users to email Passbook enabled gift card to friends through the app.

Earlier this year, it was also reported that Apple was working on its own mobile payments service, which could be similar to iTunes Pass. According to that report, the company's mobile payment solution would be integrated directly into iOS, allowing people to use their devices to purchase physical goods on the web and in physical retail stores.

Update 1:52 AM: As spotted by iGeneration, the bottom of Apple's Japanese iTunes Gifts page (Google Translate) says that iTunes Pass is not available in Brazil, China, and Turkey. This may indicate that the service may be set up to launch worldwide shortly.

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Top Rated Comments

OllyW Avatar
129 months ago
Is the text in the image from an Apple web site or has it been run through a translation process as the wording seems to be all over the place? :confused:
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cambookpro Avatar
129 months ago
So it's just for the privacy people who don't store their credit card info with Apple?

If your credit card is stored with Apple, you can already buy an email iTunes voucher for yourself at any location, hence my confusion. It's nice that it eliminates the unnecessary email step but my confusion came with the Apple Store part since that is unnecessary - unless, as you say, it's for people who deal only in cash.

It seems like it might be a great thing for kids - say they have an iPod touch but no credit card and a bit of pocket money, they can go to the Apple Store, connect to the Wifi, have their iPod scanned and buy iTunes credit for apps and music.

When I didn't have a card, I was limited to buying credit in £15 denominations, so this would've been a great help.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
peterh988 Avatar
129 months ago
Nice, but I'll still keep buying the cards from retailers who are offering 20% off. Never too hard to find.

Now if Apple would let me buy big stuff with my iTunes balance, that would be wonderful!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)