Fingerprint scanners went from a novelty to a useful and highly secure piece of the smartphone puzzle over a fairly short period of time, leading them to being found on most flagship smartphones these days, including big names like the Samsung Galaxy S6, LG V10 and both current Nexus devices, the 6P and 5X. If you have a device with a fingerprint scanner, you probably use it to unlock the device and authorize payments via Android Pay and Samsung Pay. If you’re running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and up, you can also use the fingerprint scanner to authorize payments on Google Play, but this feature is not enabled by default. Below, we’ll take you through the steps to enable it and give your Google Play Store experience a serious speed and convenience boost.
First, open up Google Play on your device. In the upper left corner, you’ll find the menu button. Give that a tap, then tap “Settings” in the menu that pops up from the left. From there, have a look at the bottom of the screen. You’ll see a check box for “Fingerprint authentication”. Check that off, then enter in your Google password to confirm the move and that’s all there is to it. From then on, you’ll be able to make a purchase on Google Play with your fingerprint in the same manner you’d make a payment with Android Pay.
You’ll be able to use your fingerprint for any transaction, from games and apps to music, movies and books. For devices like the older Motorola Nexus 6 or Samsung Galaxy S4 that lack a fingerprint sensor, the option simply won’t appear. Bear in mind that, for any kind of fingerprint authentication at all, you have to have a secure lockscreen enabled. Most devices’ fingerprint sensors are fast and accurate enough to keep that from being a hassle, but there are some users out there who simply don’t want a secure lockscreen; unfortunately, Google prevents these users from using fingerprint authentication in any fashion. You can turn the setting off at any time, as with any other authentication method on your device.