March 16, 2015 -
Currently in its proof-of-concept phase, Halifax’s system monitors a user’s heartbeat via an electrocardiogram (ECG).
Users are required to wear the Nymi band on one wrist, and touch the wristband’s top sensor using their other hand.
The wristband pairs with a smartphone via Bluetooth, as well as uses a companion app for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. The biometric authentication process is invalidated if the user removes the wristband.
Nymi demonstrates in this video how the wristband technology works.
“The fundamental difference between a heartbeat pattern and fingerprint or iris scanning is that a heartbeat pattern cannot be replicated fraudulently,” said 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.”
Nymi introduced its wristband as a method to make secure online payments, becoming the first wearable that used biometric data to verify near-field communication payments.
Formerly called Bionym, Nymi rebranded last December. The company has received $15.4 million, to date, over two funding rounds from companies such as Mastercard and Salesforce Ventures.