Google Chrome for Android gets credit card biometrics and new touch-to-fill

Biometrics have been a game-changer for consumer security. Not only can you unlock computers, tablets, and smartphones with facial recognition and fingerprints, but also, your finger can be used to decrypt encrypted storage devices. Are biometrics infallible? No. But still, the convenience makes consumers less likely to develop bad habits like having no password or pin at all on their devices! Never let perfect get in the way of better, folks.

Today, Google announces that it is integrating WebAuthn biometrics into its Chrome browser for Android. If you choose to store your credit and/or debit cards in the browser for easy checkout while shopping, you can now use your face or fingerprint rather than having to enter the CVC code from the card. In addition, Google is adding touch-to-fill, allowing you to easily fill in your information with one hand.

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"Going forward, Chrome will allow you to enroll your device to retrieve card numbers via biometric authentication, such as your fingerprint. You still need to provide your CVC the first time you use your credit card, but for future transactions, you will be able to confirm your credit card using biometric authentication -- instead of requiring you to pull out your wallet and type in its CVC. Biometric authentication is optional. You can choose to confirm your card with its CVC and you can also turn this feature on and off in Chrome Settings at any time," says Patrick Nepper, Google Chrome Product Manager and Stan Li, Google Payments Product Manager.

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Nepper and Li further explain "Chrome's password manager can help you save passwords for the sites you visit so that you don't need to memorize them. It also helps you fill your passwords the next time you sign in. A big advantage of using a password manager is that it helps prevent phishing attacks, because it cannot be tricked into filling your password into look-alike websites. Whenever you sign in, Chrome's new touch-to-fill feature presents your saved accounts for the current website in a convenient and recognizable dialog. It allows for one-handed sign-in without requiring you to scroll to the respective form fields to choose an account."

Unfortunately, it seems these new features cannot be used today. Instead, Google is just teasing us for now, promising they will become available "in the coming weeks." Sigh.

Photo Credit: ViDI Studio / Shutterstock

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