Apple Pay Could Recognize QR Codes to Enable Another Type of Contactless Payments in iOS 14

By Novak Bozovic / July 8, 2020

Not long after Apple’s WWDC20 keynote ended, developers got a chance to try the company’s upcoming mobile operating system – iOS 14. As already reported by TechNadu’s team, iOS 14 brings plenty of new features, including a drastic redesign of its interface. However, considering that Apple has released another beta (for developers only, still), we expect to get a much more in-depth look at the operating system’s code and perhaps unveil new features. And that’s precisely what’s already happening as a new feature of the Wallet app has been uncovered.

As discovered by 9to5Mac, references found in iOS 14 point to the ability of Apple Pay to recognize QR codes and traditional barcodes. More precisely, this feature includes making payments by using your iPhone’s camera to scan a QR code, while seeing a familiar Apple Pay interface on your phone’s screen. As such, this feature is part of the Wallet app, which is already capable of understanding certain types of codes.

Apple Pay Code Payment iOS 14

Image Courtesy of 9to5Mac.

This goes hand-in-hand with Apple’s announcement of “App Clips,” a feature that’s been discussed extensively during this year’s WWDC keynote. App Clips are mini-apps that will run on your iPhone without needing to download or install apps locally. Instead, they are triggered by QR codes, and they launch instantly, as they’re less than 10MB in size. So, we already know that QR codes are an important part of iOS 14 – and it’s not that surprising to see Apple Pay adopting this feature as well.

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It’s also worth mentioning that paying via QR codes isn’t an option that’s enabled on the latest iOS 14 beta. Even though the code is there and some essential visual elements, it looks like Apple has only just begun to implement QR payments. In other words, there’s only an informational splash screen that references the system as “Code Payment,” showing a picture of a user scanning both a traditional barcode and QR code. Besides, there’s an interesting message at the bottom of the screen saying: “By adding this pass, you allow (null) to collect information for fraud detection while using the pass.”

Lastly, 9to5Mac’s team has discovered this code in a public system API. This indicates that Apple will allow third-party apps to integrate this feature, adding another layer of payment-related options to Apple Pay and the Wallet app.

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Considering that we’ve heard nothing about this feature during WWDC 2020, there’s no guarantee that we’ll see it in its final form this fall, once iOS 14 becomes available. However, even if that doesn’t happen, we’re sure that one of iOS 14 incremental updates will enable this Apple Pay functionality.

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