iOS 6 Passbook
The biggest surprise in today’s iOS 6 sneak peek is Passbook. The other stuff had pretty much all leaked — Facebook, maps, do-not-disturb, etc. — but Passbook is fascinating.
On one hand, right now, it’s just an aggregation of your boarding passes, movie tickets, payment credentials, and loyalty cards. But it’s easy to see how Apple could go much deeper into payments and transactions in the future, if it wants to. With or without NFC.
I don’t think this is necessarily trouble for, say, Square, despite some similarities with the Pay With Square app. Square’s point-of-sale software and services go much deeper and seem mostly targeted at smaller merchants. Right now, Passbook is featuring the types of huge companies that have already built out their own barcode-based pass systems.
But it’s definitely something to watch, especially for anyone involved in the payment chain.