The Apple Watch might use skin contact to authorise Apple Pay

When it comes to any sort of monetary transaction security is essential. Whether it’s signatures, chip-and-pin, or the simple act of getting a receipt. Rumours indicate that the Apple Watch, which can be used to make Apple Pay transactions, will have a fairly unique security feature: a combination of PIN security and skin contact.

That might sound a bit creepy to people who’ve seen too many horror movies, but the whole thing is actually quite a novel idea. When you first put the Apple Watch onto your wrist you have to type in a PIN number to authorise Apple Pay transactions, and as long as it stays attached to your wrist you won’t need to re-enter the PIN. If you take it off, however, you will need to enter the PIN before you’re able to make any purchases.

So how does this work? Sounds rather magical does’t it? Well it’s being reported by Cult of Mac that it’s all down to the sensors on the back of the watch which can actually detect when the device is being worn. Re/code has reiterated this statement, claiming that Ed McLaughlin, Mastercard’s mobile payment executive, said Apple would be using four sensors on the back of the watch as a security measure.

That’s a handy little feature that makes the most out of the fact that the Apple Watch itself doesn’t have a TouchID fingerprint scanner like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus do. The less likely it is that the mobile payment system can be exploited, the more likely it is people are going to use it.

Want to read more? Here’s our coverage of the recent Apple announcements, including everything you need to know about Apple’s ‘phablet’, the iPhone 6 Plus, and smartwatches buying guide, or if you’re sick of Apple completely, here’s our rundown of our 14 favourite dating apps, from Tinder to eHarmony.

Tom Pritchard

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