Wristband for online banking

Matters of the heart The band can authenticate or help in logging in
Matters of the heart The band can authenticate or help in logging in

Technology has developed to such an extent that now almost everything is available at the touch of a fingertip. Whatever the innovations and inventions might be, everything is done for the betterment of the lives of human beings and to make them easier and smoother.

One such innovation that was recently reported was a wristband which allows a user to bank online by authenticating his or her heartbeat instead of passwords or pins. Isn’t it really interesting? The intricate method of memorising passwords and pins including several stages of passwords for logging in transactions will come to an end if this is brought to use worldwide.

The Halifax Bank, a bank owned by the Lloyds banking group of the UK, started using wristbands in order to check how customers rate the product. They completed the first trials of cardiac authentication for online accounts. It is said that the band detects or reads the user’s cardiac rhythm and then uses it to authenticate or login to one’s personal online banking page. Since every person has a unique electrocardiogram (ECG) and it differs from person to person depending upon the heartbeat, it cannot be hacked and has been found to be more secure than iris and fingerprint scanners.

The wristband is known as ‘Nymi Band’ and is developed by a Canadian company called Bionym. The company assures that this technology is more secure than any other mode of biometric proof of identification. The wristband is embedded with a sensor which measures the ECG of the person when the user wears it on their hand and is pre-fed with the ECG of the user concerned. After this, the wristband is then paired with the user’s smart phone containing a banking app via Bluetooth.

For any banking purposes, the user has to just put on the wristband and touch the metal plate on the band and it automatically connects to the phone (provided the Bluetooth is on). The band can authenticate or help in logging in a user when they place their finger on a tiny metal plate that is fitted on the band which creates an electric circuit. This electric circuit is then used to check the user’s ECG or in other words the cardiac signature which replaces the traditional passwords and pins and checks whether it matches the one stored in it. The user remains logged in as long as he or she wears the band and is logged out once the band is removed.

Bionym claims that “in a world of passwords and pin numbers, the Nymi band will allow to wirelessly prove that you are you to the world around you.”

Marc Lien, the director of innovative and digital development at Halifax, says, “We are in the early stages of exploring potential users 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.” Granted the usability and the high security it provides, these innovations will soon make inroads into the Indian industry in the coming few years.



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