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Learn about the new WhatsApp traffic feature.. How is it different from the OTP verification system?


WhatsApp is testing a new passkey feature with some beta testers on Android, as the popular Meta-owned instant messaging platform is already deploying SMS-based OTP verification to log into WhatsApp accounts.
However, there may be cases where there is no mobile or internet connection available and you need to log in to your WhatsApp account on another device. 
In scenarios where you can't get the OTP via SMS on your primary device, that's where passkeys come into play.
WhatsApp has started rolling out the Passkeys feature to a limited number of Android beta testers.
The stable version of the feature is expected to be rolled out to all users with a future update. 
Users who already have access to the feature in the Account option of the Settings menu will be able to find a new entry point to configure their passkey.

How can WhatsApp passkeys differ from OTP verification?

According to a report by WABetaInfo, the passkey feature will be a simpler way to log into WhatsApp accounts securely.
WhatsApp passkeys will use a combination of numbers or letters to confirm your identity, and the feature will also ensure that only approved devices can be verified. 
Through this feature, WhatsApp will allow users to add biometric information, such as fingerprint, face, or even screen lock, to verify their identity.
Passkeys can be generated and stored securely in a compatible password manager, allowing users to easily access passkeys while maintaining protections to prevent unauthorized access.
Meanwhile, the SMS-based OTP verification system is slightly different. When users try to log in to their WhatsApp account (from primary and secondary devices), users have to enter a number to receive a one-time password (OTP). 
WhatsApp sends the One-Time Password (OTP) needed for account verification to the concerned number, and users also have to enter the OTP to log in to their WhatsApp account.
However, the passkeys will be generated by users and will be stored in the password manager, and users will not need access to this verification data (like one-time passwords that rely on a cellular connection or the Internet) but will be with them at all times.

How do WhatsApp passkeys work? 

Google already offers a system similar to Gmail and instead of traditional passwords, this system allows users to log into their accounts using fingerprint-based biometric authentication. 
Passkeys are stored in the device's password manager, and most Android devices use Google's autofill support. 
iPhone users are also expected to get WhatsApp passkeys which will likely be stored in the iOS Keychain. 
WhatsApp may also use third-party password management apps such as 1Password, Dashlane, etc. to store passkeys.