Apple’s Passbook application has been gaining steam with big name brands like Sephora, Ticketmaster, American Airlines and Eventbrite jumping on board to allow consumers to store tickets, boarding passes and coupons in the new iOS 6 app. For businesses looking to create mobile passes and wondering where to start, Mountainview, CA-based Walletkit believes it has just the solution. The company, which was recently accepted into the winter cohort of startup accelerator 500 Startups, provides a platform to help create and distribute digital mobile passes, and recently launched its platform in private beta.
The company is a result of co-founders Kevin W. David and Ramakanth Dorai coming together at a hacker meetup in India, initially setting out to tackle alternative payments solutions to credit cards. “We were thinking of a couple of problems we faced ourselves. As a student back in India we do not have credit cards so if we want to go buy something online, we have to use our dad’s credit cards or something,” David said in an interview. “So when Apple launched Apple Passbook, we felt it was a great opportunity, so we thought about being part of that revolution of moving people from physical wallets to digital wallets.”
Walletkit provides a platform for retailers, event organizers, and other businesses to create and design their own mobile passes using its API and visual pass builder, which has click-and-drop functionality and the ability to upload custom branded images and logos. The passes can then be distributed via email, within the app, or through a custom link. From there it provides a backend analytics dashboard designed to manage passes and track analytics, everything from how many passes were clicked on, downloaded, and used, with the ability to update passes if necessary and provide push notifications. It plans to charge companies based on how many passes they create.
Ever since Apple announced its iOS 6 update with the Passbook application, startups have been rushing in to take advantage of it, including companies like PassRocket, which lets SMBs create passes and loyalty cards, as well as PassDock and PassKit. David noted that Walletkit is geared more towards the developer community and is out to be the Stripe of the digital mobile pass landscape.
“At the end of the day it’s going to be developers who use the platform. We’re going to be the simplest and easiest way, much like what Stripe does…in mobile payments, we’re going to the simplest way for developers to integrate with mobile wallet solutions,” David added.
The company will be launching in public beta next month, and plans to iterate on the platform to be the go-to provider for digital mobile passes solutions, albeit in an increasingly crowded space. It will also be looking to expand beyond iOS and allow users to create and distribute passes on Google Wallet and Microsoft Wallet down the line. With demo day in a few months, it will have to move fast and get the necessary traction to prove it has the easiest and most comprehensive solution to connect brands to customers via mobile passes.