Scan Credit Card Numbers in Safari for iPhone

iPhone scanning a credit card in iOS 8
Scott Orgera

 As Apple's iOS evolves, so does the number of everyday activities we perform on our devices. One area that has skyrocketed in the past several years is the amount of online shopping done on iPhones. This usually involves entering credit card numbers in the browser.

With the release of iOS 8, this task became significantly easier for those of you that use the built-in Safari browser to do your shopping. Instead of having to type your credit card number, Safari now makes use of the iPhone's camera; allowing you to take a picture of your card in lieu of tapping those digits. It is a straightforward procedure that takes just a few seconds to complete once you know how it's done. This tutorial walks you through it.

How to Scan Credit Card Numbers in Safari With Your iPhone

  1. First, open your Safari browser and begin shopping.
  2. Once prompted for a credit card number on any website, select the Scan Credit Card link. It should be noted that devices running iOS 7 or earlier do not have this feature available.
  3. In order for this feature to work, you must first grant the Safari app access to your iPhone or iPod touch's camera. To do so select the OK button, found in the access request dialog. Please note that Safari will also ask for access to your contacts. You do not have to allow this access in order for this credit card scanning feature to work, although doing so will allow the browser to populate even more information associated with your name if it had been previously stored correctly.

Many users are not comfortable with allowing apps to access their camera, sometimes with very good reason. Once you are done shopping, you can restrict Safari's access to your camera by taking the following steps from the iOS Home screen: Settings -> Privacy -> Camera -> Safari (OFF button)

Safari will now prompt you to position your credit card within the white frame, as we have done in the example above. Once positioned correctly, the browser will automatically scan the number and prepare to populate it in the Web form. Safari has now populated our credit card number in a matter of seconds without us having to type anything.