Yesterday, Apple debuted its new iTunes Pass service in Japanese Apple Stores, allowing users to buy iTunes Store credit directly without the need for physical gift cards. Today, Apple has begun to roll out the service in the United States (via iPhoneHacks).

itunespass
To use the service, customers must add a new iTunes Pass inside of the existing Passbook app in iOS, and then locate a Specialist at an Apple Retail Store. Once located, a customer can tell the Specialist how much money they would like and the amount is instantly transferred to the Pass. Essentially, the service streamlines the process for customers who rely on iTunes gift cards to purchase things on the iTunes Store, App Store and iBooks Store.

Earlier this year, reports indicated that Apple was working on its own mobile payments service, which could bear some resemblance to iTunes Pass. The payments service would reportedly be integrated within iOS and allow customers to pay for physical goods in stores with their iPhones.

Update 11:48 PM: As spotted by Apfelpage.de (Google Translate), iTunes Pass has also gone live in Germany.

Top Rated Comments

Jakexb Avatar
128 months ago
"Once located" really makes it sound like a mythical journey.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PocketSand11 Avatar
128 months ago
It's better to use gift cards only on iTunes, or any online store, just so you can't be hit with a larger bill than expected. You never know when you or even Apple might slip up. Accidental purchases, a Netflix free trial that expires and starts billing, fraudulent purchases, kids who buy Temple Run gems...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0007776 Avatar
128 months ago
You expect people to get off their ass waddle down to the petrol station and buy an Apple iTunes card? You expect too much. being to get iTunes credit without even getting of the couch is what a lot of people want.

If you're wanting to use cash to get the iTunes credit this makes you get up and go to your nearest apple store which for 99% of people will be farther than the nearest place selling iTunes cards.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aristobrat Avatar
128 months ago
iTunes cards are not like paypal.
Not currently.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aristobrat Avatar
128 months ago
Are they trying to turn Apple Stores into banks now?
I think they might be laying the infrastructure for being able to use an iTunes/App Store account as a method of payment at other stores, like how you can pay with PayPal in Home Depot stores.

If that's what Apple's plan is, and they're not going to charge any fees for "loading" money, then once they're accepted in a lot of places, that will make them a better deal than most of the reloadable credit cards that a lot of Americans that don't have a checking accounts use (like Greendot, etc).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yg17 Avatar
128 months ago
Are they trying to turn Apple Stores into banks now?
Basically Apple wants to get all the money up front to earn interest on it. If you give them $100 up front and spend it over the course of a year, they're able to earn interest on it. If you use a credit card tied to your iTunes account, and pay for stuff as you buy it, they don't earn any interest on it.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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