Google may soon let you use biometrics, screen lock for autofill authentication

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Even though you’re probably using payment autofill on Chrome, you still have to bring out your credit card to enter your CVC number to authenticate your online purchases. But it looks like there’s a new flag experiment for Chrome that will bring a more convenient but still secure way for you to finish that purchase. The possible feature will let you use other things like biometrics and screen lock for that autofill authentication. There is no way to make this fully live yet though as it’s probably still being tested.

Android Police says they have detected a system-wide authentication for Android and possibly Chrome OS, Linux, and MacOS. When you enable the prompt and toggle it on Android, you will see a new option under Settings > Payment methods called Screen Lock. It says you will be able to use screen lock to confirm your cards that have already been saved in the payment methods. At least, the description says that as there’s no way to test it out for now.

If they do release this feature, what will happen is that you will enter the CVC code just once and then check a box in the user interface which means you’ll be using the screen unlocking method starting then. Currently, you will have to enter the CVC every time and while three digits is probably easy to remember for some, if you have multiple cards and you’re bad with memorizing numbers, then it is a hassle.

However not all flag experiments eventually make it to the stable or even beta version. And even if it does, it may work differently once it’s in its final form. But given the fact that there are experiments in other platforms like Windows Hello, which uses biometrics authentication in Chrome for Windows devices, then it’s highly likely that we’ll eventually see some form of it appear on our Android devices.

Still, don’t expect this to happen anytime soon as it is still very much experimental. You’ll have to make do of still putting in your three-digit CVC whenever you make your online payments using the autofill feature on Chrome. It’s for your own safety after all.

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