Apple iWatch Could Offer Two-Factor Payment Authentication

By Gerald Lynch on at

Does anyone really need a smartwatch? The answer is an almost-unequivocal no. They're attractive, and we may want one, but there's very little to "need" about them, with much of their functionality merely a convenient doubling of what's already offered by your smartphone. So, what's going to be special about Apple's iWatch? With Apple also said to be introducing a mobile payment system tomorrow, TechCrunch has suggested that two-factor authentication could be the smartwatch's "killer feature".

Paired with NFC in the iPhone 6, the iWatch could perform a pre-payment check that would ensure that your phone and watch are within the vicinity of each other -- and that one hadn't been nabbed by a thief. With this check validated, the iWatch could then be used to confirm a payment, without the need to take anything at all out of your pocket. With an iWatch, you could pay for a packet of crisps at a contactless payment point with a wave of your wrist, or a tap of the iWatch's screen. It's an added layer of security that an iPhone alone couldn't offer, and would give the smartwatch a reason to co-exist with Apple's smartphone. [TechCrunch]