No. It’s not removed, but it can get stuck. I would disable this feature and then reboot if you think it’s already enabled. Also, free apps are basically the same as paid - you go through all the same hoops to “buy” save an optional second confirmation for payments.
To allow downloading from the App Store without having to enter your password every time for free apps follow these steps:
- Go to Settings
- Scroll down and click Itunes and App Stores
- Click Password Settings
- Toggle off "Require Password" under Free Downloads.
You will now be able download apps without having to enter your password.
I since found the issue was localized to a bad home WiFi/router which blocked access to Apple servers. This can be verified by:
- signing out of App Store in settings
- trying to sign back in
- getting an error message
- disconnecting from WiFi, using cellular
- signing back in
- getting the “verify payment alert”
- entering credit card Security code or selecting “none” payment type
- this enables Touch ID for purchases