Apple Pay to be locked down on Apple Watch with four digit passcode

Just like the iPhone, Apple Watch will have a four digit passcode that users will need to type in before Apple Pay can be used for payments.

Key details about how Apple Watch will work have emerged today via an unreleased companion Apple Watch app that Apple has been working on. The Watch app is installed on an iPhone and used to control settings and configure key features on Apple’s wearable.

Yesterday Apple released iOS 8.2 beta, which contained a reference to an Apple Watch app. On Tuesday 9to5 Mac got its hands on the app— referred to within Apple as a “companion” app — which is installed on a paired iPhone and is used to control settings for the Apple Watch’s home screen, clock functions, messages, maps, accessibility features, fitness and screen.

The other key function the companion app serves is to secure the wearable’s data and lock it down to a single user so it can securely be used to make Apple Pay payments.

Just like on an iPhone, Apple Watch owners will be able to set up a four number passcode and they’ll need to set this up If they want to use Apple Pay on the Watch.

Apple has previously outlined that users can can make Pay payments by double clicking the button below Apple Watch’s “Digital Crown” while holding the face of the wearable to a contactless payment reader. The device’s “Taptic Engine” will then send a pulse to the wearer’s wrist indicating a payment has been made.

To make an Apple Pay payment via the Watch, the user will need to have entered their passcode after putting it on their wrist.

For general use, however owners can also set their Apple Watch to automatically unlock when they unlock a paired iPhone. The wearable will unlock this way so long as the owner is wearing it. 9to5 Mac speculates this is for people who want a longer passcode.

The other data protection feature the companion app includes is an option to set Apple Watch to erase its data if the password is entered incorrectly 10 times.

Apple hasn’t confirmed when Apple Pay will become available in Australia while it’s committed to bringing Apple Watch to Australia sometime in 2015. For the US, Apple plans on releasing it in “early 2015”, however the wearable is rumoured to be March.

Given the app is part of Apple's iOS 8.2 beta, some features may change by the time it is released. The companion app likely won't be available through the App Store and is rather likely to ship with the final release of iOS 8.2.

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

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