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eBay tries to ease the pain of remembering your password

A new feature called "One Time Password" texts you a code that you can use to sign in, while the iOS version of the app now supports Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor.


eBay aims to eliminate the use of passwords for accessing your account.

screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

eBay has introduced a couple of features to make it simpler and quicker to log in to your account.

Dubbed "One Time Password," this feature sends you a code via text message, eBay said on Monday. After you log in using that code, you stay logged in. Available both for PCs and mobile devices, the feature takes away the need for you to remember your eBay password.

The code is good for one session at a time, however, so you would need to request a new code each time you want to log back into your account, an eBay spokeswoman explained. But that's the whole idea behind the feature -- generating a password or passcode that works just once.

Passwords have become a frustrating fact of life for logging into websites and mobile apps. Complex passwords are difficult to create and recall, while simple ones are far from fail-safe. That's why many websites now offer an authentication method that texts you a confirmation code as a backup to your regular password.

Next on the list is support for Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Instead of trying to remember their eBay password, Apple iPhone and iPad owners with Touch ID can simply press the Home button to log into their account on their mobile device.

"One Time Password and Touch ID Authentication eliminate the need to remember your password when you want access to the eBay Marketplace," Dave Comer, senior director for Identity and Member Communication Product Management at eBay, said in a release. "We all use so many applications that require passwords and login information that it is impossible for users to remember them all. We want to eliminate the friction entirely."

eBay has also unveiled a helpful new option for owners of Android Wear smartwatches. The eBay smartwatch app will serve up notifications that provide more details about products up for sale. Android Wear users will be able to see an item's title, price, end time, image and more without having to pull out their smartphones.

Further, users of Android Wear watches will be able to read messages from other eBay members and reply directly from their watch. You'll be able to reply either by voice or by choosing from among several quick replies.

The One Time Password, Touch ID support and Android Wear support are still in the process of rolling out, the spokeswoman said. So eBay users may not see them pop up just yet. The One Time Password is available on eBay's website and can be accessed using the "Sign in with single use code" link on the Sign In page.