Google is updating its Chrome browser to let you automatically enter saved passwords and credit card details into forms more easily and securely, the company has announced. The browser will now use biometric authentication like a fingerprint to autofill credit card details without having to ask for your three-digit CVC each time, and a new dialog box will let you pick from a list of saved account credentials to sign into a website without having to tap into individual form fields.
As well as offering convenience, both features are designed to make transactions more secure on the web. Biometric security makes it harder for someone to make an online purchase if they have access to your device. You’ll still need to enter your CVC the first time you set up a credit card, but after that you can authenticate with security like a fingerprint.
A new dialog box will make autofilling passwords more convenient. Image: Google
Using Chrome to save and enter passwords also has its own security benefits over simply trying to enter them by memory (using a dedicated password manager is another option). For example, passwords can be more complex and unique for each site or service (making them harder to guess) because you don’t have to remember them and, unlike a human, the software also can’t easily be tricked into entering them into fake phishing sites, Google says.
Chrome’s new credit card autofill feature builds on its support for WebAuthn, a biometric authentication standard. This is the same technology that allowed Google to start letting users log into some of its services without needing a password at all last year.
Google says the new credit card autofill feature is already available on Windows and Mac. Both features, including the password autofill dialog, will be rolling out to Chrome on Android in the coming weeks.