The next generation iPad Air and iPad mini will feature a Touch ID fingerprint reader on the Home button, and be able to make payments with Apple Pay.
An iOS developer discovered mentions of the new functionality in a beta build of the unreleased iOS 8.1 operating system, which is expected to ship with the new iPads after they are announced next month.
Apple is expected to host a media event on 21 October, where the two new iPads will be announced, alongside a release date for Mac Yosemite for Apple’s computer lineup.
iOS developer Hamza Sood tweeted: “Looks like the new iPad is getting Touch ID,” along with a screenshot taken from iOS 8.1 stating: “Pay with iPad using Touch ID. With Apple Pay, you no longer need to type card numbers and shipping information.”
Read More: iPad Air Review
Available on the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, Touch ID is a fingerprint scanner on the Home button which can be used to unlock the handset without entering a PIN or password; it can also be used to pay for content on the iTunes and App stores, and will soon be incorporated with the upcoming Apple Pay service to pay for goods online.
However, the new iPads will not be able to make contactless NFC payments like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Sood tweeted: “For the confused: Apple Pay on iPad with Touch ID is just for purchasing things through apps. Not NFC or anything like that.”
This makes sense, as it’s unlikely many users would want to tap their iPad against a till every time they want to pay for something.
The iPad air and iPad mini with Retina display, both almost a year old, were expected to get Touch ID - and supposed leaked parts tallied with this - but the feature never surfaced.