What are Mobile Wallet Passes?


While many people primarily associate mobile wallets like Apple Wallet (formerly Passbook) and Google Wallet (now Google Pay) with digital payments, these tools can do much more. They also have the capability to store and manage "mobile wallet passes". This feature enables users to digitally store, access, and manage a range of non-payment items such as tickets, loyalty cards, boarding passes, and coupons.

What are Mobile Wallet Passes?

Mobile wallet passes are digital versions of physical items like loyalty cards, coupons, tickets, or boarding passes. These passes can be stored in a mobile wallet application on your smartphone. They often come in the form of barcodes or QR codes that can be scanned at the point of service.

Apple Wallet Passes

Apple Wallet, on iOS devices, provides a seamless and convenient way for users to organize and use these digital items. Here are a few examples:

  1. Boarding Passes and Tickets: Airlines, movie theaters, and event venues often provide digital versions of their tickets, which can be saved directly to the Apple Wallet. The Wallet will display relevant information like seat numbers, departure times, and gate details.

  2. Loyalty Cards: Retailers and restaurants may offer digital loyalty cards that can be saved in the Apple Wallet. When making a purchase, the Wallet can present the loyalty card for scanning, keeping track of points or rewards.

  3. Gift Cards and Coupons: Digital gift cards and coupons can also be stored in the Apple Wallet. When it's time to use them, users simply present the digital card or coupon from the Wallet at checkout.

The passes in Apple Wallet are not just static but dynamic and location-aware. This means they can update in real time (for instance, when gate changes on a boarding pass) or pop up on your lock screen when you reach a relevant location (like a coffee shop where you have a loyalty card).

Google Wallet Passes

Google Pay, the successor to Google Wallet, provides similar functionality for Android users:

  1. Tickets and Boarding Passes: Like Apple Wallet, Google Pay can store and display digital tickets and boarding passes from participating businesses.

  2. Loyalty Cards: Digital loyalty cards can be saved and managed in Google Pay. The application can display the card's barcode for scanning at checkout.

  3. Offers: Special deals and coupons can be saved directly in Google Pay. The user can then present these at checkout to redeem the offer.

Google Pay's passes are also location-aware and can be set to appear when the user is near the relevant store or venue.

How to Add Passes

Adding passes to Apple Wallet or Google Pay can usually be done directly from the retailer or service provider's app or website. Alternatively, passes may be sent via email or SMS, with an option to save them directly to the mobile wallet. The exact method may vary depending on the specific business and the type of pass.


Mobile wallet passes offer a digital, convenient, and eco-friendly alternative to carrying around physical cards, tickets, and vouchers. Whether you're an iPhone user with Apple Wallet or an Android user with Google Pay, these tools can simplify and streamline your experiences at checkouts, airports, and events. It's worth exploring what's available from your favorite retailers, venues, and service providers.

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