Emerging Payments

Apple Adds e-Gift Function to Its Mobile App

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Apple Inc. updated its Apple Store app to include an e-gifting feature.

Rumored since last month, the feature allows users of the Apple Store app to purchase and send e-gift cards through their phones. The app primarily allows consumers to order physical Apple products.

Apple allows U.S. consumers to integrate their e-gift cards with Passbook, its mobile card and ticketing app. Passbook provides access to digital stored-value cards and tickets that would normally be managed through separate apps. Passbook can present cards’ bar codes from the phone’s lock screen instead of requiring users to unlock their phones and access each app individually.

The Apple Store app update, dated Nov. 7, requires iOS 6, the latest major release of Apple’s mobile operating system (Passbook is packaged with iOS6). The update also allows Siri, Apple’s voice-activated digital assistant, to help users navigate the Apple Store’s inventory.

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