Social Business On the Move: “PassRocket” Capitalizes on Apple’s “Passbook”

Commercial gifting, redemption of QR codes and social gifting is a trend taking soaring importance in the e-commerce industry today. Social gifting apps such as Wrapp, being just over a year old, are expanding across territories in exponential fashion. Apparently Apple Inc. has been inspired by this concept too. At WWDC in June 2012, Apple Inc. announced the “Passbook”, an app which aims to act as the future digital wallet. It stores passes such as movie tickets and boarding passes at a single destination, thereby making life easier for consumers who are so digitally savvy.

The “Passbook” was not considered to be something totally new or innovative. Nevertheless, given that Apple has a cult-like fan base, the Passbook will shape out be a sublimely hot app. It will attract plenty of consumer attention and will penetrate into the mainstream quickly. Apple has often been criticized for keeping their information and property proprietary but the Passbook is prone to give dividend.

Motivated by the announcement of Passbook, JTribe Labs returned from WWDC with the aim to make the Passbook available to everyone. As a result, they developed the app “PassRocket” earlier this month. It is an app which operates on iOS 6, the new operating system announced by Apple a few days ago.  “With PassRocket, retailers, businesses and cafes can design their own Loyalty ‘Pass’ and share it with their customers instantly with Twitter, Facebook or email. PassRocket then scans customers’ passes every time they visit.  The designer app comes with a great range of themed passes that have been beautifully designed. Customizing the pass can occur right within the app itself and be immediately available to customers. Businesses can create a loyalty card where they trade. Within seconds, a business can have an instant campaign and share it with their customers.”

For example, JTribes portrays the “Taco Truck Scenario”. Taco Truck looks to keep building a tribe of loyal customers as it does its weekly city route. As a small business, ‘Taco Truck’s’ marketing activities are constrained by time and money. Taco Truck downloads PassRocket. Within minutes, they select their pass theme, customize with the Taco Truck name, the number of visits and discount, or in this case, ‘a free taco’. Taco Truck receives a short link to share with their customers via Twitter, Facebook and email. They are now ready to scan customers’ passes. It’s taken two minutes and they have done all this from the Taco Truck. Their first customer Sam, visits the Taco Truck, opens the link on their phone and presents the Taco Truck pass in their Passbook app. Sam buys a Taco and the PassRocket scanner, scans the pass. Four more tacos and Sam has a free one.

An overview of how the app operates from the consumer perspective can be seen in the clip below:

The future potential of PassRocket will be partly influenced by what is released with the Passbook app. For now, jTribe Labs want PassRocket to be the solution that makes Passbook available to everyone, for free.

Apple’s “Passbook” a Replica of “Wrapp”?

While consumers are becoming pickier, demanding and expecting experiences, consumer focused companies are consistently being challenged to improve their way of serving their mainstream customers. Apple Inc., traditionally being a company to comply with consumer demands made several announcements at WWDC aimed to improve both user experience and customer experience in general. Its “Passbook” app is one of these announcements. Now, what does it do?

Apple Announcing the "Passbook"

Attempting to make one’s pockets much lighter, the “Passbook” app aims to store all “passes” such as boarding passes, movies tickets and store cards at a single destination. It is not only limited to that. From the digital perspective, “Passbook” also aims to combine everything digital on your phone and store in at a single place. At WWDC, it seemed as though the passes were to assume QR code form and redeemed accordingly. It remained unclear how many partners Passbook will start out with, but it has potential to grow into something big benefitting Apple and partners associated with it alike.


Now there is a Swedish startup called “Wrapp” which is kind of doing the same thing. Wrapp is already in business while Apple has only announced this. I wonder, if it is a plausible assumption to undertake that the “Passbook” is a mere replica of Wrapp only to be sheltered under the Apple brand to gain hype, fame and consumer credibility. However, the bright side for both “Passbook” and “Wrapp” is that as long as they keep partnering up with businesses, create value for them and intensify their sales, it is unlikely they will be out of business anytime soon. On the contrary, the challenging and motivating side is how either one of these will perform to live up to customer expectations. “Passbook” is something that will be available in the iStore whereas Wrapp is available in both the iStore and on Android. Wrapp has been expanding to different territories rapidly whereas Passbook still has to make sufficient inroads. How will this competition shape out?

For now, advantage Wrapp!