We’ve written before about Nymi, which makes a wristband that uses your unique heart pattern to authenticate your identity. For the first time, Nymi has been used to make a credit card payment. The payment was made on July 10 as part of a pilot project with TD Bank and MasterCard in Toronto, Ottawa, and Regina (that’s in Saskatchewan — north of North Dakota and Montana).
In an age where contactless payment systems like Apple Pay or Google Pay are becoming increasingly common, it may not sound like much of a big deal, but it really is. The Apple and Google systems, tokenized as they are, still rely on passwords. Nymi’s system is more secure, as it uses biometrics: what you are rather than what you know. You can tell someone your password, or someone can guess it or crack it. Your heart rhythms? Not so much.
The pilot’s wristband uses Nymi’s HeartID technology for personal authentication, and NXP’s secure chip solution to hold the card data and transmit it to the payment terminal.
“Nymi’s goal is to fundamentally change the way authentication is treated and to move industries towards a more secure and convenient identity model,” Nymi’s CEO, Karl Martin, said in a statement. “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.”