After the first successful trial with Royal Bank, Toronto based company Nymi is moving across the ocean to test its wristband. Halifax’s system, which is currently at the proof-of-concept stage works by monitoring a user’s heartbeat via an electrocardiogram (ECG).
Users must wear the Nymi on one wrist, and touch its top sensor with the opposite hand for it to work. The Nymi pairs with a smartphone via Bluetooth, using a companion app for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Removal of the wristband invalidates biometric authentication.
The video below explains how the system works:
Halifax’s system is the latest in a string of innovative concepts aimed at making banking more secure. Last month, the Royal Bank of Scotland started letting customers access their accounts on an iPhone using Apple’s Touch ID technology. The service was available to anyone with an iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus.
However, Halifax believes its method is even more secure.
“The fundamental difference between a heartbeat pattern and fingerprint or iris scanning is that a heartbeat pattern cannot be replicated fraudulently,” Marc Lien, director of innovation and digital development at Halifax. “The closed security loop at the heart of this technology prevents fraudsters from being able to steal the pattern and use it to access services.”
Last year, Nymi introduced its band as a method to make payments; at the time, the company said it was the first wearable that worked with a biometric to verify near-field communication payments.
Nymi received $15.4M in 2 funding rounds from huge companies like Mastercard and Salesforce Ventures.