Halifax to trial heartbeat rhythms as authentication tool

Halifax Bank are putting on trial a new authentication tool that would enable customers to access online banking using their 'cardiac signatures.'

A tiny metal plate fitted on a 'Nymi Band' bracelet will create a circuit for checking a customer's cardiac signature against an existing one when the customer places his finger over it. Customers will have to wear the Nymi Band around their wrists as long as they want to access internet banking.

Developed by Canadian firm Bionym, the bracelet is one of the first devices in the world to use heartbeat signals as authenticating tools, and the firm claims that the technology is more secure than other biometric methods.

Speaking at the announcement, Marc Lien, digital development director at Halifax, said, "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 isn't the first bank to use digital payment technologies though. Barclays have released a new wearable device called bPay which can be worn around the wrist and help customers make payments up to £20. If successful, the new technology can be used for making contactless payments in future.

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