Push Messenger Urban Airship Acquires Passbook Services Provider

Mobile-Ad-AExtending its push messaging services into the iOS Passbook interface, Urban Airship has acquired startup Tello. Tello recently introduced its PassTools product, which enables app developers to create coupons, tickets and loyalty cards for the Passbook mobile wallet that Apple introduced in iOS 6. "The combination of push messaging, passes and location-targeting offer an easy yet sophisticated solution for businesses to drive more successful pass programs," says Urban Airship CEO Scott Kveton in a statement.

As local marketing analyst Greg Sterling explores at MarketingLand, Tello started out as a customer service product and was founded in 2010 with backing from True Ventures and Bullpen Capital. But with PassTools it introduced templates, analytics and an API that helps companies manage and measure their Passbook presence. Tello says it has seen thousands of customers for its PassTools in just its first few months -- including retailers, sports teams, wireless carriers and local businesses.

Urban Airship, which already is a major provider of push messaging using the iOS alerts system, will marry its messaging with Passbook functionality. The company says that by blending push messages with Passbook and its inherent geo-fencing features, Passbook loyalty cards and coupons could take on the functionality of “mini-apps” that can create dialogues with users with dynamic notifications.  

Sterling speculates that combining Passbook presence with messaging could allow marketers to test different offers and maintain persistent communications with a customer even in lieu of having their own stand-alone app.  

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