Apple Watch will use a four-digit passcode that users must type before making Apple Pay payments, CSO Australia reported on Wednesday (Jan. 14).
Details of the Apple Watch payment process emerged by way of an unreleased companion app that Apple has been developing. The companion app is intended to be installed on an iPhone and used to control settings and configure key features on Apple’s wearable device.
On Tuesday, Apple released the fourth beta version of iOS 8.2, which contained a reference to the companion app, which 9to5 Mac subsequently got its hands on.
Along with controlling settings for the Apple Watch’s home screen, clock functions, messages, maps, and accessibility and fitness features, the companion app also serves to lock down the Watch to a single user so it can be used securely to make Apple Pay payments.
As with an iPhone, Apple Watch owners will be able to set up a four-digit passcode that will need to be entered after putting it on their wrist. Only then can users make Apple 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.
For general use, 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.
The other data protection feature the companion app offers is an option to set the Apple Watch to erase its data if the password is entered incorrectly 10 times.
Apple hasn’t confirmed when the Apple Watch, the companion app or the new version of iOS will be available. But because iOS 8.2 is the first version that includes the WatchKit API for Apple Watch app developers, and the companion app is necessary for pairing an iPhone with an Apple Watch, they’ll all presumably arrive at about the same time. In the U.S., that’s officially in “early 2015,” though it’s now rumored to be sometime in March.