In iOS 8, Apple has a new feature in Safari that allows users to scan a credit card with the device’s camera rather than manually entering the number when making a purchase online.

When entering a credit card number into a form online to, for example, make a purchase, Safari already allowed users to quickly select credit cards stored in its Passwords & AutoFill settings. You can still do that, but in iOS 8 you’ll now also have the option to select “Scan Credit Card” and snap a picture of the card. Apple then uses optical character recognition of sorts to input the number into the text field in Safari. There’s also a way to scan and save cards using the camera directly from within the Passwords & AutoFill settings.

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.

Safari received some other updates announced this week at WWDC too, including a redesign in OS X Yosemite on the Mac, and highly requested features on iOS like the ability to request a desktop site and a tab view for iPad.

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14 Responses to “Safari in iOS 8 uses camera to scan and enter credit card info”

  1. if it works like the iTunes gift card camera recognition, this is awesome. its super fast.

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  2. andreww500 says:

    Loving iOS8. There are already an abundance of new features and we aren’t even close to the GM release. Will be interesting to see what new features the iPhone 6 brings to iOS, too.

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  3. I’m sorry, but unless I see your credit card in front of the camera, and iOS recognizing the card, I can’t believe that this is actually taking place. For all we know, Mark Gurman just commissioned some clever mockups of the supposed feature.

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  4. I actually noticed this on day one and thought it was an old feature (I think I was thinking about the gift card thing). It just so happened that I got a new card in (the old one expired) and had to switch the info on my iTunes account. It really easy to use. =)

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  5. iPadCary says:

    Pretty sweet, I must say.
    Looking forward to installing 8.

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  6. I’m looking forward to when we get WordLens-style automatic OCR in the camera that can detect URLs and make them tappable. (QR codes: Here’s the final nail for your coffin.)

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    • admin says:

      The point of a QR code is to be error-tolerant; it can be scanned with a relatively low-quality scanner or camera module, and you still effectively have a guarantee that the scan will come out valid and un-corrupted.

      That’s not the case with a URL (nor will it ever be) – your camera needs to have a particular resolution, lens quality, stabilisation mechanisms, etc. to even *begin* thinking about OCRing out URLs. It’s also not even close to the feature described in the article – creditcard numbers have checksum digits (with a similar purpose to error correction in QR codes, albeit more human-error-focused), whereas URLs do not.

      Added complexity comes from the fact that a single mis-OCR of a character in a URL will render the entire URL effectively unusable. WordLens does not have this problem – it can ‘guess’ the correct word, autocorrect-style.

      If OCRing URLs is ever going to be a reality, it’s quite far away. You won’t see it being relied upon until high-resolution high-quality stabilized camera modules are a given, even in lower-end hardware.

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  7. chrlun says:

    This is what card.io have done for some time now. Is it the same solution?

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  8. Apple has had “data detectors” for a long long time. As a developer I’d like to see them allow developers to be able to extend the types of data that can be detected by the OS. As an example, I have a scanning app that I’d like to be able to use to auto-detect ISBN numbers when scanned. Apple’s data detectors only currently recognize URL’s, Phone Numbers, Map Addresses, and Dates. Maybe iOS 8 will finally allow developers to bind their own data formats and default actions?

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  9. looking forward for this one!

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