RBC and MasterCard Pilot Latest in Biometric Payment Technology
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Royal Bank, a Canadian bank based in Toronto, is working with technology firm Bionym to test their latest product Nymi, a wireless, biometric payment wristband.
Nymi, which works to verify the identity of cardholders from their heartbeat, is being piloted by 250 RBC staff and clients now through till February of next year.
It works by storing a user’s heartbeat, otherwise known as an electrocardiogram, which it matches to the wearer as they make attempt to make a transaction. If the wristband is removed or stolen, making it impossible for Nymi to identify the cardholder’s heartbeat, it shuts down, preventing any further transactions.
Right now Nymi only works with MasterCard, but the bank is hoping to roll it out to their customers across all credit, debit and prepaid cards in the future.
Jeremy Bornstein, head of RBC payments innovation operations, said of the pilot that “We’ve been keenly looking at the wearable space for quite some time,”
“We’re quickly going to move past (the test period) to giving clients true choice — not only in what they pay with — but also how they’re paying.”
Bionym, who claim that their Nymi product is the first biometrically authenticated wearable payment solution, are a relatively new start-up who secured funding from investors that including Ignition Partners, MasterCard, Relay Ventures, Export Development Canada and Salesforce.com.