Sunday 8 June 2014

iOS 8 update : New Safari browser can read debit/credit card numbers using camera

It is very annoying to fill a 16 digit credit card/debit card number or the details required whenever you are shopping online.  This is especially so when you are using a small screen device like a smart phone or tablet. Apple has come up with a innovative way to give you relief from this perennial problem.  The new yet to be released Safari feature in iOS 8 solves this problem by integrating camera-based Credit and Debit card reader.

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.

As you guessed it, you will be able to point and shoot your credit card/debit card using the inbuild camera function in the Safari Browser.  The browser then will automatically fill in the details from the credit card/debit card in the checkout form of the ecommerce site using optical character recognition (OCR).  As per the report published on 9to5Mac, Apple will soon introduce this feature to Safari in its latest Operating System iOS 8 that will allow its iPhone/iPad users to scan their physical credit and debit cards with their device camera and optical character recognition.

Once you update your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the iOS 8 operating system, you can now get this awesome feature.  In future when you shop online using  iPhone or iPad and reach the payment screen for payment (checkout page), the Safari browser will automatically display this “Scan Credit Card” option. This option will help your camera to capture the image of your credit card, which the device will analyze by using the optical character recognition to automatically fill the card number/expiry date/CVV number,  into the appropriate fields. 

“There’s also a way to scan and save cards using the camera directly from within the Passwords & AutoFill settings, It seems web developers won’t have to do anything to enable this feature - Safari detects when it’s needed and presents the option above the keypad.” 

A word of caution thought, this new technology can so easily be used by cyber criminals to get access to your credit/debit card details.  It is not known whether the Safari will save the details of your credit card in a temporary file or destroy it within seconds of filling out the checkout form.  In case it does save the numbers, it will be very easy for the cyber criminals to extract the data through some malicious code or a fully built malware for this purpose.  It is also vulnerable the man-in-middle attack.

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