Months after serving Mac and iPad users, PayPal is bringing support for passkeys on Chrome, on Android devices.
This is touted to be a better alternative than the current mode of entering usernames and passwords – as passkeys have private and public keys stored in the device and the server – which are less vulnerable to compromise.
Passkeys on Chrome For Android
With tech companies often subject to data breaches, experts have come up with a new alternative to securing the users’ login into a platform – Passkeys. Apple embraced this technology last year – paving way for services to use them for good.
And PayPal used this for devices running on macOS Ventura and iPadOS16 in October last year, where Google had still been testing the support. Well, Google made the passkeys support on Chrome stable in December last year – promoting any interested developers to append this function to their websites. And PayPal is here: leveraging this for the good of its Android community.
The passkeys are of slightly different technology and are better at safeguarding access. Users in this case need not type in their usernames or passwords to log in to an online account, but use their biometrics (face or fingerprint) to proceed.
Though biometric authentication is not a new thing – the way they’re tuned into passkeys and authenticate differs from the existing models. Here, the technology creates a cryptographic key pair – one public and one private – that becomes associated with a user’s account.
Websites or apps supporting passkey login use the public key to confirm their identity – by matching it to the concerned private key, which is stored in the user’s device. This model practically has fewer risks than the current modes where the hashed passwords are stored in a central server – which is often subject to hacks.
And if the underlying services support syncing these passkeys, the user can try them on any linked device too. To try this on Chrome, go to a website and try logging into it in a traditional way of username/password, and wait for the browser to ask for storing your access in a passkey mode.
You’ll be shown an option as “create a passkey” – agreeing to it will prompt you to verify your identity using biometrics or your phone’s passcode. That’s it. You can now use the same biometrics or device’s passcode to checkout purchases and log in on other devices.