Welcome to the new PassSource! Read about the migration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are answers to some of the most common questions we've gotten.

About Passbook

What is Passbook?

Passbook is your boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and more now all in one place. You can add passes to Passbook through apps, emails, and websites from participating airlines, theaters, stores, and more. Then you can scan your iPhone or iPod touch to check in for a flight, get into a movie, and redeem a coupon. You can also see when your coupons expire, where your concert seats are, and the balance left on that all-important coffee bar card. Wake your iPhone or iPod touch, and passes appear on your Lock screen at the appropriate time and place — like when you reach the airport or walk into the store to redeem your gift card or coupon. And if your gate changes after you’ve checked in for your flight, Passbook will even alert you to make sure you’re not relaxing in the wrong terminal.

How does Passbook work?

When you purchase a ticket, coupon, card, or pass, you no longer have to carry paper copies of them. Instead, a URL, mail attachment, or link from a 3rd party application allows you to open and store passes in Passbook. Once a pass is there, Passbook categorizes each ticket, coupon, pass, or card by type in a neat and organized interface. The 2D barcode that appears on the pass can contain information like your name, flight number, or loyalty information. The code can be scanned by a participating retailer or airline just like they would your paper code. In order to get this benefit, the merchant has to support Passbook (or at least 2D barcodes), so keep watching our list of official Passbook merchants.

What devices can I use passes on? Will this work on my phone/Apple Watch/iPad/HTC/Windows Phone/Android device?

Passes are only officially designed to work on iPhones, Apple Watch, and iPod touches (unfortunately not iPads) runing iOS 6 or later. However, our site generates a virtual pass that can be viewed from any modern web browser so you can use our passes on Windows, Android, iPad or whatever you carry around. Additionally, Android users can get push updates and join the fun by downloading PassWallet from the Android marketplace. And it appears that Windows Phone 8.1 and later natively support passes (without push updates).

How many passes can I store in Passbook?

There is no set limit to the number of passes you can store. You must manually remove passes from Passbook.

How do I delete passes?

Tap the (i) button in the lower right corner of a pass to flip the pass over. Then tap the Delete button in the upper left and confirm deletion of the pass. If you have iCloud sync enabled, this will delete passes from all your synced devices.

When did Passbook come out?

Passbook was announced by Apple at their 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Our site was the first one up 4 days after the announcement!

About Passes

How do I get the barcode message from my physical pass?

You will have to decode the message in the barcode you're trying to copy. You can use our Pass Scanner app on the app store to decode 2D passes. Tap and hold on the text to copy.

What's the point of making rewards card in Passbook if it doesn't work?

The "point" depends on what you're trying to do. If you're trying to get all your life digitized and get rid of your keytags and paper and cards, then the "point" is to get businesses on board so that everyone is moving forward on the same page. If you'd like to continue using your physical card, by all means continue to do so. Our service is for people who like being cutting edge or who want to be environmentally responsible by cutting waste. We can help companies do this, but the customers need to put pressure on the companies to encourage them to do so.

Can I see how this all works?

We have set up a demo that you can use to see how geofencing and push notifications are displayed.

Why doesn't my pass update? How do I get the balance to update?

Some of our demo templates have special updaters built in, but in order to update, you will need to flip the card around to the back side by pressing the (i) button in the lower right of the pass and then tapping on the update link. Other passes are just shells (like a blank piece of stationary) where you can write in your information to keep it with you. Unfortunately this is a manual process unless the company chooses to integrate with our servers. To encourage them to do so, contact them (information can be found at our requests page).

Is there a way to get passes to display an EAN Code, 2 of 5 Code, Code 39, UPC code, ISBN code, or other standard barcode?

Unfortunately, standard 1D barcodes do not scan very well with many scanners (lasers usually won't pick it up at all and many companies do not have optical scanners). Apple has decided to only support QR, Aztec, and PDF417 formatted barcodes in Passbook to minimize scanning isseus. We would suggest filing a bug report if you're a developer (we already have) or sending them a message at http://www.apple.com/feedback if you'd like them to add this support. We know there are several companies with scanners that do support scanning 1D barcodes off a phone screen and we'd love to be able to offer our services to them.

Can I change the images?

Personal and Professional accounts have access to a template editor which allows changing all images. Some templates do allow end-users to upload their own images.

I added a pass to my iPhone and went into the store to scan my phone but it doesn't work.

Please flip the pass over and tap and hold the update link and tap "Copy" when the sheet appears. Please include this link in your email so that we can troubleshoot the issue. Passes will only work with merchants whose scanners support 2D barcodes, so if you're creating your own pass, you should contact the company and tell them you want Passbook support.

About PassSource.com

How much does this cost?

There is no charge to create and use any of our free public templates. If you'd like to make more advanced customizations or use the API, take a look at our pricing page for costs of our personal and professional accounts.

Is your site the only way of setting up passes?

Our website is not the only way of creating passes. You could of course have your own web server, purchase an SSL certificate, purchase an Apple Developer account for $99/year, create your own PassTypeID, generate a signing certificate, build out the passes by hand, add in all the assets and create a manifest file, use a signing tool to sign the pass using Apple's certificate, compress the pass, register the pass with Apple's push notification servers, create an https web service to handle pass updates, and check Apple's feedback server for errors. Or you could just let us handle all of that for you and user our WYSIWYG editor to design and generate your pass with the information you want.

Can you make a pass for (fill in the blank)?

First, if this is a pass for an existing company, we would suggest contacting the company before anything else. Passes should be created by the merchant in order to ensure support and have live updating. Be sure to tell the company you're interested in Passbok! We can make any kind of pass you want, but you'll need to have at least a Personal Account to view it. See our pricing page for pricing of custom pass design. If you're a company and want a pass for any purpose, contact us and we'll make sure you get taken care of!

Do your passes support GPS/Location or date/time reminders?

Our passes support everything Apple's passbook supports, so that does include geofenced presentation on the lock screen for up to 10 locations or general geolocation when in proximity to iBeacons. If you want the technical details of how this works, please refer to Apple's documentation on relevancy features for how the relevant location and time fields interact with the various passes.

I don't understand JSON. Can I still create templates?

We have a beautiful new visual editor that allows you to see excatly what your pass will look like to users that eliminates the need to know any JSON (or even what JSON is). This simple interface will allow you to specify the fields, values, colors, and images and even has several power-user features for professional accounts including making custom registration forms for your users to fill out.

How long will it take for my payment to go through?

Payments use PayPal's instant payment notification service to automatically and immediately activate your account. So whether you're in Sydney, Australia or New York, New York or anywhere in between, you should be up and running whenever you're ready!

Is there a limit to how many passes I can make?

We believe in knowing exactly how much something will cost with no surprises. Therefore, instead of charging per pass or per user, we have a flat subscription rate for all our accounts. If an individual account is abusing the system, we may have to re-evaluate, but since we launched, we have offered unlimited pass creation to our customers and have yet to experience any issues (even with the larger corporations issuing thousands of passes a day).

How do I create an account?

  1. Go to https://www.passsource.com
  2. Click the large "Join or Login" button.
  3. Enter your email and a password.
  4. Click the "Login or Register" button.
  5. Enter your name.
  6. Click "Upgrade Account".
  7. Select the account type you'd like.
  8. Finish your purchase using PayPal.

About Personal Accounts

I would like to create a business card. Can I sign up for one month to create the pass and then cancel and continue to have and distribute my card or will it disappear from my Passbook when my subscription ends?

Our passes are never automatically removed from a Passbook once they are added, so you can create as many passes for yourself as you want during your first month without fear that they will disappear when your subscription ends. If you wish to distribute your business card to others, you can link to the specific pass you create and update your information on the pass and everyone who has the pass will get an update as long as your subscription is active. However, if you do not have an active subscription, you will not be able to update your passes or modify them or create new copies of them. Also, if you have a personal account, passes are created individually so you can't create multiple passes from a single template like you can with a professional account.

Why aren't passes appearing in the "My Passes" section?

If you have a personal account, passes only appear if they are created while you're logged in so make sure you go to http://www.passsource.com on your phone if that's where you're creating them and log in with your account.

How do I create my own passes?

To create your own passes, after logging in, go to "Create Template", then select the base template you'd like to copy.

You can click on the visual editor to quickly jump to the editor for that information by clicking on the pass. Colors and other fields are in the Visual Options section and individual passbook fields can be added and edited from the Passbook Fields section.

If you need help or want to do something specific, please don't hesitate to ask us! Just be sure to tell us what exactly you're trying to do and what your account number is and the template ID if you've already started.

I bought a personal account. Is there a way to upgrade to a professional account?

If you've already purchased the personal account and want to upgrade, just let us know after you've purchased the professional account and we'll refund the personal account subscription and cancel it for you if you haven't already.

How do I cancel my subscription?

If you no longer need to update or create passes, you can cancel your subscription by finding the subscription in your PayPal account and clicking the "Cancel Subscription" link at the bottom of the subscription page. Your account will stay at the level you paid for until your next billing cycle.

Can I distribute passes I create with the personal account?

Sort-of. You may distribute a specific pass, however, access to the API for creating and tracking new passes, tracking installs, and generating multiple passes from a template are features only available to our professional accounts. Additionally, personal passes cannot use any PassScan features for invalidating or updating passes. This would work fine for a generic coupon, flyer, or business card, but would not work well for loyalty cards, membership cards, tickets, store cards, or single-use coupons.

I'm not quite sure what I signed up for. Can you please confirm what this subscription is?

The subscription is for a month's access to PassSource.com for creating custom templates and passes for Apple's Passbook.

If you only wanted to try it out, you can cancel your subscription and continue to create templates until your subscription expires. At that point, any passes created will still work, you just will not be able to update them or create new ones. Of course you can choose to upgrade to a personal or professional account at any point in the future to regain these abilities.

About Professional Accounts

If I created a membership pass, can I deactivate someone's pass if they have cancelled or failed to make a monthly payment?

It depends on how you integrate it. If you are creating a pass that your scanners will scan, then your system will act the same as if their membership expired with a traditional physical pass. If you're using our PassScan solution, you can update values on the pass and update the scanning logic to flag it as invalidated when they try to scan it. Remember, we're happy to answer any questions you have with integration.

Can we set this up for our health club/spa/etc?

Most definitely! The first thing you'll need to know is if your existing system scans 2D barcodes (QR, PDF417 or Aztec format). If so, setting this up will be a piece of cake. All you would need to do is create a template for your business and then distribute passes to the members (or we can create a widget for your website where they can enter their member number and have it create a pass for them). If you have a list of emails linked to the member numbers, you could send out an email blast to the members with links to passes with their member information pre-filled. If you don't need the pass to display any account information, there's no need to integrate with any software. In order to distribute passes and create your own template, you will need a professional account, but we'll help you get everything set up and we can even help you design the pass.

If you don't have a 2d scanner, you have 3 options:

Don't worry if this is all over your head. We can help you! Just tell us whatever you know about your system and we can take it from there.

I want to create a Loyalty Card for my restaurant and then add points or credit to it.

We can certainly help with that. All you need to get this set up is a professional account and an iOS device with a good camera and our free Pass Scanner app from the App Store. Shoot us an email when you've signed up and we can help set up and create your template, give you QR codes to distribute your pass, and set up your scanner to start using the passes immediately!

How do my customers acquire my coupon/loyalty card and get it into Passbook?

There are multiple ways customers can acquire passes. Our passes are all able to be generated and downloaded via links, so you can either provide the customer with a customized link in an email blast, or post a link on your website or Facebook page, or create a QR code customers can scan or even send them a pass file if you prefer. We can help with any of those forms of distribution.

Do I need an Apple Developer Certificate or a paid developer account to create passes?

Our service does not require a developer certificate, however, if you are a big name, you will probably want to use your own certificate which you can provide to us and we can handle the heavy lifting of the notifications and pass signing.

We (my company) would like to integrate Passbook into our systems and get a more advanced Personal Account with more API features. Do you have any business accounts or any accounts that also have Push Service enabled?

Yes. We do offer a professional account you can purchase from your account page. That enables access to the API and distribution of passes as well as updating passes with push notifications. We can even set up managed accounts and our entire interface can be whitelabelled and rebranded!

Do you have any analytics for passes?

Yes, we are tracking pass installs and creations and updates. There is a template portal that shows you the number of passes created, installed, deleted, etc. and gives you access to edit those passes. You can also fetch the data from our API to do custom visualizations. If you need something specific, we can generate a report for you.

Can you help me integrate Passbook into our system?

Of course! Just shoot us an email and tell us some of the specifics about your system and what you'd like to do. We have an API for PassSource so you can integrate these features without having to know anything about generating passes or Apple's Update Services.

Can I white-label passes?

Currently, Pro account passes will be white-labeled unless marked as public (since public passes are viewable on PassSource.com). Our registration forms and portal and edit pages can all be customized with your logo and branding as well.

Is there a limit to how many passes I can make?

We do not impose any artificial limits to the number of passes for either personal or professional accounts. If an individual account is abusing the system, we may re-visit this policy, however, you may consider the accounts unlimited as our servers have been serving thousands of passes daily without issue.

API DocumentationAPI Questions

Can I remove (or add) a barcode to a template that doesn't have one at a later date?

Yes! Changes to the template will update all passes based on the template. You can also use PassSource conditions to conditionally show fields including the barcode. And you can always use the API to remove or add the barcode dynamically per pass.

I'm seeing the wrong icon when I make updates to my passes.

Yup. It's a known bug for passes with shared passTypeIDs. Restarting your device will reset which icon is chosen but then it will be set for that passTypeID, even if you delete the pass! If you file a bug or send Apple feedback, you can reference radar:12044637. If you need us to set up a unique passTypeID for you (which will avoid this issue), let us know.

I'm using the API and the field I'm passing as a parameter isn't updating/overwriting.

If you're not providing your clientHash, make sure that the field is marked as user editable. If you are still having trouble, please email us the url that's failing.

Why am I not seeing update notifications in PassWallet?

PassWallet only supports updates of fields on the front of the pass, so if the update you're looking for is in the backFields array, the update will not be shown. If you have questions on PassWallet, you can contact them here

I'm getting a blank page when using CURL to contact your server.

Make sure you're doing the following in your CURL code (this is for PHP. Please make sure the equivalent flag is set depending on your language): curl_setopt(, CURLOPT_FOLLOWLOCATION, 1);

Contact

Okay, I've read the FAQ. How do I contact you?

Send feedback (or kudos! We love kudos!) to support+passsource@kudit.com.