Apple Watch Will Lock Up Your Payment Info When You Take it Off

By Robert Sorokanich on at

One of the Apple Watch's nifty features will be its Apple Pay integration, letting you tap-to-pay right from your wrist. Yes, that means the sensor-laden smartwatch will be connected to your credit card—but there's a nifty trick to prevent would-be thieves from stealing your credit card if they nick your watch.

We know that the Apple Watch's backside is strewn with a bunch of skin sensors to detect heart rate and whatnot. They're not just there for fitness tracking, though. As CultOfMac discovered during the incredibly brief hands-on period when the Watch was introduced, those skin sensors will tell the Watch every time the wearer takes it off. Remove the Watch, and you'll have to enter your Apple Pay PIN again before you can buy anything with your wrist. If someone manages to wrench that Watch off your wrist, they won't be able to use your credit card info on a tap-to-pay shopping spree. Smart!

There are a tonne of other ways this sensor functionality could be put to use—and since we're reasonably certain that Watch wearers will have to remove the device to charge it every night, there's an opportunity for different Watch behaviours based on whether it's on the wrist or the nightstand, or for a power-saving hibernation mode. For now, the skin sensor integration doesn't answer all of our questions about Apple Pay and how Apple plans to keep customers' financial information safe from hacking. But at least the Watch offers the same sort of first-line theft defence as the iPhone's fingerprint scanner. [CultOfMac via Electronista]