Apple’s iOS 8 Killer Feature Could Be Credit Card Scanning

Apple didn't reveal a new iPhone, iPad, or iPod during its recent Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), nor did the Cupertino company unveil any new systems or hardware of any kind. Instead, it was all about the software, first with a focus on OS X Yosemite and it's pretty new trash can, followed by iOS 8 for mobile devices. With iOS 8, shopping will be a lot snappier -- literally.

The folks at 9to5Mac spotted a new feature in the Safari browser for iOS 8 that lets users scan their credit cards using their mobile device's built-in camera. For folks who take advantage of the feature -- and who don't have their credit card numbers memorized -- this would replace manually punching in the digits.

Credit Card on Mac
Image Source: Flickr (Ritesh Nayak)

Let's say you just made a purchase at an online vendor for a box of sprockets. When it comes time to checkout, Safari will let you select from any credit cards you already have stored in Passwords & AutoFill, as you've already been able to do. However, if you're using a new card, you can select the "Scan Credit Card" option to take a picture of your card with the device's camera.

From there, Apple deciphers the numbers using optical character recognition and inputs the digits in the text field. Alternately, you can scan and save credit card info using Passwords & AutoFill.

The neat thing about this is that developers don't have to use any special code to enable the feature -- it's built into Safari, which is able to detect when a credit card number is being asked for.