iOS 8 scans credit cards for quicker payment

6 Jun 2014

A hidden feature in iOS 8 will let iPhone owners snap a photo of their credit card to automatically fill in online payment forms

The latest version of Apple's mobile operating system has plenty of new features, but the company didn't reveal all of them on stage at WWDC earlier this week - some iOS 8 additions are only just being discovered by developers. The latest is the ability to scan credit cards from within the Safari browser to speed up online purchases.

Discovered by 9to5Mac, iOS 8 extends Safari's existing Passwords & Autofill feature from merely storing credit and debit card information entered manually to recognising the digits on credit cards to complete forms automatically.

iOS 8 credit cards

Choosing the new credit card scan option lets iPhone owners take a picture of their card with the rear camera. The image is then scanned with optical character recognition (OCR) software and the card information is sent to Safari.

According to 9to5mac, "Website developers don't have to do anything to enable the feature, as Safari appears to automatically detect when a credit card number is being requested and presents the option to scan above the keypad."

The feature is a smart evolution of online payment, and may also provide a boost to security if the collected card details are disposed of once the necessary data has been used to fill out an online form. However, Paypal payments made using the fingerprint sensor on Samsung's Galaxy S5 are potentially more secure.

Apple is yet to formally comment on the development of any sort of mobile payment service, although the company has been rumoured to be working on one for some time. This new feature certainly suggests digital payments are on the company's agenda.

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