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WhatsApp to get feature used by payment apps for security

BusinessToday.In     January 13, 2019

As popular as WhatsApp is, there is no wonder that it has turned into the primary communication application for many. So much so that it has become a viable alternative for mail clients, text and multimedia messages, and even the phone app. In a day's usage, this one instant messaging application usually handles everything from written communication, documents, calls, and more. And with WhatsApp Payments catching up, it is only safe to assume that it will soon become a popular platform for money transactions too.

With such a wide spectrum of uses on offer, WhatsApp has decided to step up the security around the app. In the first beta update this year, WhatsApp has introduced the Authentication feature for an extra layer of security. The feature has been rolled out in WhatsApp beta update 2.19.3 version for Android devices. It is available for devices running Android Marshmallow or higher and equipped with a fingerprint sensor.

The Authentication feature on WhatsApp for Android uses either a pre-registered fingerprint on the device or a fresh one on the app.This feature is similar security feature to what has been seen in a few payment apps like the Google Pay and Samsung Pay. While there are third party apps which can put a fingerprint lock, it will be interesting to see how effective native fingerprint protection for WhatsApp is.

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WhatsApp has already implemented FaceID and TouchID on iOS. But these features are still under development and it will be some time before they are rolled out for open public. Meanwhile, WhatsApp has begun work on Authentication feature for its Android version. Now already in beta, the feature fingerprint unlock for all WhatsApp is expected to be rolled out soon.

For WhatsApp beta users, they need to go the Privacy section in the Settings menu. Here is an option to enable fingerprint authentication which has to be toggled on. Once done, the application will ask you to register your fingerprint afresh or use the already saved fingerprint data on the device. This completes the setup for WhatsApp's Authentication feature.

Following this, WhatsApp will ask you to authentication every time you try to open the app through its icon, notification from the notification shade or any other picker, a report by WDBetaInfo said.

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