Amazon has added passkey support to replace using a password - and it’s not great

Person carrying Amazon boxes
(Image credit: Pixavril / Shutterstock)

Amazon has secretly rolled out passkey support on its site and joined the many other tech giants in carving out an easier, quicker way to log in. 

If you’re unfamiliar with passkeys, it's essentially a way to securely sign into apps and websites without needing to remember a password or username. Strong passwords are hard to remember, and if you’re going to be remembering a lot most people will either keep the same password across accounts or use an easy-to-guess phrase or code - thus putting you at risk of having your accounts compromised.  

On sites or apps that use passkeys, you’ll be prompted to create a passkey and use the authentication of choice depending on the device (either FaceID or fingerprint input). So, instead of having to use multiple passwords you can just glance at your screen or tap your finger to log in. 

So, that’s exactly what you’ll be using to log into the Amazon website while doing your shopping (assuming you choose to enable the passkey feature). According to TechCrunch though, the implementation is not without its faults. 

A rocky start for Amazon's passkeys?

It seems that there is no support for passkey use within Amazon apps, like the Amazon shopping app or Prime Video, so you’ll have to use your password as normal, which kind of makes the whole passkey thing feel a little…redundant. Given that clicking an Amazon link in your phone browser will automatically open the app by default, it's a weird choice to restrict passkeys to the website.

On the official site, Amazon says: “You will still need to verify a one-time code after signing in with the passkey,” with no real explanation as to why. We’re still not sure how passkeys will affect users who use two-factor authentication.

From what we know at this time if you do have 2FA enabled you’ll still have to go through that when passkeys are enabled, which is a bummer. You’ll be prompted to enter your verification code when you log in (similar to how you’ll get a text or an email with a bunch of numbers when you log into your account from a new device) which essentially cancels out the speed and ease of using a passkey. 

As we see more companies like Google, WhatsApp, and Micorosft embrace passkeys, hopefully Amazon will catch up and find a more seamless way to make logging in easier. Amazon spokesperson Adam Montgomery shares some insight into what to expect, stating that the company is “in the early stages of adding passkey support for to give customers another secure way to access their accounts. We will have more to share soon.”

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Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.

Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.

Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).