Apple has introduced a new service that allows users to add money to their App Store, iTunes Store or iBookstore account at its physical retail stores. First spotted by 9to5mac‘iTunes Pass’ is currently only available in Japan, where it links in-store Apple ID account top-ups to the Passbook app on a user’s iOS device.

Update: The service is now live in the US.

The new solution sounds fairly basic, but its simplifies the current process, which requires users to buy gift cards from retail stores and subsequently redeem them with their Apple ID.

Screenshot 2014-07-15 14.05.22 It isn’t clear whether this process will be a Japan-only initiative, or whether the country is merely a test bed for a future global expansion. Certainly it makes sense for Apple to remove the pain points around buying content. We’ve reached out to the company to see if it has any comment on the new initiative.

➤ iTunes Pass [Japanese] | Via 9to5mac

Thumbnail image via Neil Bird / Flickr