As first reported by 9to5 Mac, Apple has today launched iTunes Pass in Japan (Google Translate). The service allows users to add credit to their Apple ID for iTunes Store, App Store and iBooks Store purchases without purchasing an iTunes gift card. iTunes Pass works by installing a new pass into iOS' Passbook app, connected to a user's iTunes account.
Use the iTunes Pass, you can now deposit directly to the account of the App Store or iTunes Store you. Go to the iTunes Store in the iOS device you have, if you tap "Use iTunes Card / Code" button and scroll down, you can get the iTunes Pass. 3 Please tell specialist that then, the Apple Store near you, you want to deposit into account. When you open the iTunes Pass from the Passbook, specialists will scan it, and accepts the payment. Balance is updated on the fly, available immediately.
The pass can apparently be installed from the iTunes Store or App Store for Japanese users. Once installed, employees at Apple Stores in Japan can scan the pass and directly add credit to the iTunes account. Its a small convenience to not have to buy a gift card and then redeem it (which has also become easier with camera scanning of gift card codes), but the impact will probably be limited until this program expands to international Apple Stores and to other stores that sell iTunes gift cards.
A footnote on the Japanese Apple site notes that "iTunes Pass is not available in Brazil, China and Turkey", suggesting that an international rollout of iTunes Pass is probably imminent (except for those countries).