You don’t have to be a big-name business like Target or Walgreens to make consumer cards for Passbook. Small businesses can create them, too — along with individuals who want to put their own personal cards into Passbook. Here’s how.
First up, an iPhone app that helps you create Passbook cards right on your iPhone. It’s called People’s Card, and it’s available to download for free from the App Store.
Pros: Free. Easy-to-use, touchscreen, WYSIWYG interface. You can create cards for your own personal use, or distribute your card(s) to your customers. Best of all: change the card’s content whenever you like, and your users will get the update instantly. Any and all card, coupon, or ticket kinds are possible.
Cons: For free, People’s Card only allows you to create one card. To make more, you have to succumb to the dreaded in-app purchases. The app also adds its own company info to the back of your cards.
Read more about People’s Card here.
A number of businesses have already sprung up offering web apps and ongoing services that help you create your Passbook cards and update them frequently. One of the first of these was Passdock, a web app/service that’s currently in beta. Until it reaches final release, it’s free for all users — including individuals who want to create cards for everything from McDonald’s to Holiday Inn. (But be aware that once that final release comes, at a date that’s currently not set, Passdock intends to charge for their services.)
Pros: Slick, professional interface that’s user-friendly and generates terrific results. Loads of existing templates to make card creation super simple. Useful for both businesses and individuals.
Cons: At some point, Passdock will begin charging for its services. And there’s no way of knowing how soon that will happen.
Try out Passdock here.
Another web app that’s currently in beta is PassSource. It’s not quite as slick an interface as Passdock, and it charges for its services already. Individual accounts are about $9 a month, while professional accounts are about $99/mo. (This is probably comparable to what Passdock will charge once it’s out of beta.)
Pros: Dozens of existing templates to make creating your cards and passes as easy as possible. Good for individual and professional use, both. Its API is freely available.
Cons: Not free, and not terribly impressive.
Give PassSource a try here.
PassTools is a robust online tool that seems to offer the very best of everything: templates, ease-of-use, slick interface, and so on. There’s a slick dashboard that provides stats how customers are using your cards, and you can try the whole thing out for free for 30 days.
Pros: It’s got everything professionals could possibly want. Everything.
Cons: It’s pricey. Plans start at $99 a month. That’s right, a month.
Try out PassTools here.
These seem to be the most high-profile services and apps, but there are more you may want to explore. These include:
I’m sure there are many more than these, too.