🎉 We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Punchpass mobile app! 🎉
But before you run to the app store, please keep reading. 👀
We are doing things a little differently, and our app is not available in the traditional app stores. Instead we have built what is called a Progressive Web App (“PWA”).
What’s a PWA?
A PWA is just a special way to package a web application so it behaves more like an app installed from the app store but without any of the numerous restrictions the app store creates.
The app store creates restrictions? What do you mean?
The primary reason we want to help you avoid the app store is so you won’t have to give Apple a 30% cut (!!) of all your revenues from passes & tickets sold through the iOS app.
We feel strongly that type of fee simply isn’t sustainable for businesses like yours that use Punchpass. Business is tough enough without having to fork over a huge percentage of your profit to a big corporation!
Delivering our app using this method also gives you immediate support for Android and all tablets, not just Apple devices.
We’ve provided more details on our decision making process at the end of this document, so head there for more information.
Is the user experience different from a traditional app?
You and your customers get the experience, reliability, and performance of an app but delivered through your device’s browser. It’s the best of both worlds, AND protects your business from any changing app store rules that get handed down.
In fact, because there’s not an additional layer of “app” software, it arguably provides a better experience – the WHOLE system is accessed right there on your device, and there’s no syncing required. What happens on your phone is reflected immediately on any other device that’s simultaneously connected to Punchpass.
Are there any drawbacks to this type of app versus a traditional app?
There are just a couple of minor drawbacks.
How do my customers install it?
You can just point your customers to the url we’ve created for your business – just add ‘/app’ to the end of your public Punchpass URL.
For example, you can see our demo page here: https://btvfit.punchpass.com/app
There are simple instructions right on that page that will show your customers how to install the app for both iPhones & Android.
The installation is easy - iPhone users will ‘Add to the Homescreen’, and Android users will be prompted to install the app. After that, the app will act & feel just like an app installed from the app store.
How do my staff and I install it?
The same way as your customers! You can visit https://app.punchpass.com/app for instructions.
What devices does it work on?
All of them! Since it works in the browser of your device, all devices are supported
What if someone already has an icon on their phone?
You’re all set & no action is required. You don’t need to re-install.
Why did you decide to develop a PWA instead of a regular old app in the app store?
There are numerous restrictions that Apple places on any apps. The biggest of course is the requirement (depending on what your app does) to use in-app payments. Unfortunately Punchpass clients WOULD be required to use in-app payments. That means you would have to give up 30% (!!) of any passes & tickets purchased through the app to Apple. And you thought credit card fees were high! 💸 And while there is some regulatory pressure on Apple to change their fee structure, there is no guarantee that will happen.
Apple mandates other restrictions too. For example we could not offer Google login without also offering Apple login. But Apple login fundamentally breaks how Punchpass works. And on and on…there were a number of little issues like that. They added up to an app that provided a reduced, limited experience. We knew we could do better.
A PWA fixes all of those issues - it is the same application you use through the browser, with 100% of the functionality. There is no app store gatekeeper in between you and your customer. Here’s a nice article that explains exactly WHAT a PWA is.
What took so long?
This has been a long road for us - we originally started working on an iOS app a few years ago. And then we all know what happened next - COVID 😷. We added numerous updates to Punchpass in order to help our small business clients get through the pandemic (and if we do say so, we did a great job!). But many of those new features created a problem with our unreleased app – they meant that more of what our clients sold was considered a digital service, and because of that required Apple in-app processing. That means a 30% cut of all your revenues being paid to Apple. That wasn’t the type of app we wanted to release, so we held off.
We think we made the right decisions for your business. And it was worth the wait! 🙌