ePrize, providers of online promotions and contests, has announced its integration into Apple's Passbook app for mobile access to rewards, contest offerings, coupons and loyalty programs.

Passbook, a new Apple iOS 6 feature, helps people corral their airline info, coffee house cards and concert and movie tickets into one place. ePrize is tapping into Passbook to allow its own digital engagement platform to coexist along with customers' other mobile wallet-like items.

Real-Time Rewards

In business for over a decade, ePrize provides a full suite of advertising and promotions to many popular websites. It makes use of a mobile device's geolocation to offer coupons when a person walks by a participating store. In an interview, David Wachs, ePrize's vice president of the mobile division, said that as iPhone 5 users start to take advantage of Passbook, it presents a great opportunity for ePrize.

In January, ePrize bought Cellit, a company more focused on mobile than on standalone sites. The Cellit buy brought Wachs into the fold, and the new Passbook integration is the next step for the combined companies. Companies hire ePrize to design and build contest and promotion websites, and then connect out to the ePrize-hosted site, which looks and feels just like the companion site it is working with. 


ePrize contest in the Passbook app helps incentivize customer behavior.

Now that ePrize is focusing more on mobile, Wachs believes that Passbook integration is just the first step. Eventually, he said, other mobile operating systems will have Passbook-type apps that ePrize can work with.

Google's Android OS has the Google Wallet app, but it has more to do with transactions, something Passbook doesn't include. Google Wallet allows people to buy things with their smartphone and near field communication technology, something that, for a variety of reasons, has yet to become very widespread. 

Learning Opportunities

In order to really make use of apps like Wallet, people need to beconnected all the time, and stores need to have the technology to allowthe NFC feature to work as well. Those are just two of the roadblocks inthe way for Wallet. With Passbook, there is less focus on thosetransactions, and that's where the ePrize instant rewards and couponreminders come in.

"Apple is doing things without credit cards, which is smart," Wachs remarked.

Apps Over Email

With traditional coupons and rewards, people have to go into their email to redeem them. An ePrize-based coupon can be saved right into Passbook and redeemed from there. Additionally, any loyalty programs used can have the points updated right in the Passbook app.

As for other geolocation features, if someone has an ePrize coupon that is about to expire, Passbook can remind them once they get close to the store's physical location. 

All this activity is tracked and stored by ePrize and analyzed to improve performance, helping digital marketing campaigns be more efficient. EPrize has over 800 customers worldwide, and it provides fully customized promotion and mobile marketing programs of various sizes. ePrize also has integrations with systems like Salesforce and SurveyMonkey. Pricing for ePrize products will depend on what the customers need, so that information is not publicly available.