Nymi reveals 'world's first' wearable biometrics payment
12 August 2015 13:03 GMT

Wearable biometrics firm Nymi has revealed that a Canadian bank this week used its ECG-authenticating wristband to authorise a payment.

As part of a pilot project supported by TDBank (Toronto-Dominion Bank) and MasterCard, Nymi says is has conducted the world’s first biometrically authenticated, wearable credit card payment.

The Nymi band uses a person’s unique heart rhythm or ECG to authenticate identity.

Over 100 TD users in Toronto, Ottawa and Regina will be testing the Nymi Band's contactless payment functionality until the end of the summer, as part of this closed payment pilot.

Industry insiders say it is an important development:

“We have seen payments extended out to wearable devices from smartphones but these have been minus the benefits that biometric user authentication and transaction authorisation provides,” Alan Goode, founder of consultancy group Goode Intelligence told Planet Biometrics. The news that MasterCard and TD bank has leveraged heartbeat biometrics on the Nymi Band for contactless in-store payments paves the way for wider adoption of biometrics on next-generation wearable devices.

Other participating Canadian banks are scheduled to launch similar pilots later this year, and Nymi expects several thousand payments to be made using the Nymi Band during this time.

 

Karl Martin, Nymi's Founder and CEO said, "Nymi's goal is to fundamentally change the way authentication is treated and to move industries towards a more secure and convenient identity model. By working with partners like TD and MasterCard, we are effectively demonstrating that continuous authentication can be a more secure and convenient way to make retail payments."

"Over the past several years, TD has improved the customer experience by introducing a host of innovative digital enhancements allowing us to better address customer needs," said Chuck Hounsell, Senior Vice President, Payments, TD. "Working with Nymi's secure, customer authentication technology is an example of how TD is exploring new and innovative ways of bringing the next level of convenience to our customers."

"Wearable and mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular among Canadians and we're ensuring that every MasterCard transaction on the Nymi Band is safe, secure, seamless and convenient for our cardholders," said Jason Davies, Head of Emerging Payments, MasterCard Canada. "In partnership with MasterCard Labs and Nymi, we'll continue to invest in and explore cutting edge payment technologies."

Nymi and MasterCard collaborated with NXP, the world leader in secure chips for payment, to prototype NFC-enabled Nymi Bands based on NXP's SmartMX Technology. Nymi, MasterCard and TD will continue working together to innovate in the financial technology space.

In March, the Halifax bank in the UK revealed that it has has been working with Nymi on a biometric pilot using its ECG-reading wearable to authenticate online banking.  

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