A new biometric technology is currently under trial at British bank Halifax, which will identify customers through their heartbeats for a safer online banking experience.


Developed by Canadian technology firm Bionym, the new Nymi electronic wristband is similar to a watch and authenticates the wearer by identifying the unique electrical signals emitted by heart when it is initially placed on the wrist.

The customer will be able to pay for goods or draw money as the new bracelet can also communicate with a checkout till or cash machine.

The Nymi Band authenticates the wearer using electrocardiogram (ECG) when placed on the wrist and another set of sensors continuously detect that the authenticated person is still wearing the band.

The band employs techniques which guarantee that only the devices the Nymi Band has been paired with can detect its presence and ensures user privacy.

As of now, the company is using the technology as a way of allowing users to log into their bank account through their smartphone, without the need to enter any PIN or other security details.

Halifax innovation and digital development director Marc Lien said: "Exploring innovative technology that will help deliver for our customers and enhance our overall capabilities is a real focus for us at the bank.

"We are in the very early stages of exploring potential uses for the Nymi Band and wearable technology more widely which will help us further understand how we can serve our customers in the way that best appeals to their needs."

Halifax, which is owned by Lloyds Banking Group, claims that the heartbeat is a vital signal of the body and as such, naturally provides strong protection against intrusions and falsification.

Bionym also tested the technology with the Royal Bank of Canada.

Image: The The Nymi Band enables customer to pay for goods or draw money. Photo: courtesy of hyena reality/FreeDigitalPhotos.net