PayPal is ready to give users a secure but passwordless way to log into their accounts, so long as they're using a supported device.

In an attempt to embrace plans for a new industry-standard approach to passwordless logins (spearheaded by the Fast ID Online (FIDO) Alliance), PayPal is adopting passkeys. Don’t worry. More familiar forms of logging into your PayPal account aren’t going away, but PayPal believes passkeys will ultimately be a faster and smoother option. One that doesn’t sacrifice security for convenience.

PayPal logo on smartphone

A passkey comprises one public and one private encryption key, with the former being sent to the site you're logging into and the latter used to verify who you are. In practice, this two-factor login approach replaces passwords with the need to confirm your identity via your iOS or macOS device using Face ID or Touch ID. And due to the overlapping systems (biometrics, separate encryption keys), it's said to be immune to phishing and hacking scams—because there are no passwords or login details to steal.

You can set up a passkey when you log into PayPal from your Mac's or iOS device's web browser, but you won't be able to set one up using a non-Apple product just yet (they simply haven't included passkey support yet). However, you can log in via passkey using any device as long as you have a compatible Apple device with your passkey on hand to scan the QR code that will show up once you enter your PayPal User ID.

Passkeys with PayPal

Passkeys for PayPal should be rolling out to account holders in the US today, so long as they're using an iPhone (iOS 16+), iPad (iPadOS 16+), or Mac (macOS Ventura or later). PayPal users living in countries outside of the US should begin receiving passkey support in "early 2023."

Source