Apple gets first bite of PayPal passkey login system


PayPal is phasing out passwords and making cryptographic account verification available to its users on Apple devices – but Android users will have to wait their turn.

Passkeys are a new standard in cybersecurity developed by online authentication watchdogs FIDO and the World Wide Web Consortium. In the online transaction giant’s own words, they are intended to offer customers “a simple and secure way to log in to PayPal, based on technology that is resistant to phishing and designed so that there is no shared passkey data between platforms.”

Unfortunately for Android users, Apple devices will for now be the only ones to benefit, although PayPal implied that other platforms can expect to enjoy greater peace of mind as well in the near future.

“The new PayPal login option will first be available to iPhone, iPad, or Mac users on PayPal.com, and will expand to additional platforms as those platforms add support for passkeys,” it said.

“This cutting-edge security standard is significant, as passkeys address one of the biggest security problems on the web, which is the weakness of password authentication. Many consumers recycle passwords across online services, which can not only be cumbersome but can also lead consumers to reuse the same, potentially vulnerable passwords across services.”

Paypal may have other less paternalistic reasons for encouraging its users to abandon passwords. According to data it cited, 44% of US consumers abandoned an online purchase in 2020 because they had forgotten their password.

To install the passkey, iPhone or Mac users should simply login to their PayPal account using their old credentials, where the option to create a passkey will be visible on the page.