Bionym Announces Wearable Biometric mCommerce Trial

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Bionym’s Nymi wristband offers users persistent strong authentication based on unique vital biometric readings. In addition to commerce, it has a wide range of applications in the growing Internet of Things.

Today at Money20/20, Toronto startup Bionym announced a technology trial that will see users making real life purchases with their heartbeats.

The company’s flagship technology, the Nymi wristband, authenticates wearers persistently based on their unique EKG readings, offering a continuous proximity based identity verification factor. The Nymi is tied to MasterCard and can enable wearable tech payment for users.

The new trial will allow customers with bank accounts at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and other participating banks to make biometric payments at point of sale with less risk and only the tap of a wrist.

Andrew D’Souza, Bionym’s president comments: “Payments is a great use-case for persistent identity, because making the experience seamless for consumers is just as important as providing the trust and security that only you can authorize a payment with your account. This could be unlike any other next generation payment mechanism.”

Bionym’s heartbeat payment trial joins a growing number of biometrics enabled mobile commerce solutions aiming to make transactions easier and more secure. Unlike other products competing to fill the hole left by now old fashioned and inconvenient wallets, however, Bionym’s tech bears the distinction of being the first wearable biometric payment solution.

RBC’s head of payments innovation, Jeremy Bornstein, underlines the kind of convenience at work with the Nymi payment expereince.

“We’re continuing to work to provide customers increased choice how they pay,” he says. “Once their wristband is activated, they can leave their phone at home while they go for a run or run an errand and conveniently and securely buy a coffee or groceries with a tap of the wrist.”

MasterCard’s involvement with this wearable biometric payment innovations further underscores its commitment to next generation financial transactions. The global payment giant went on record this year saying that biometrics play a key role in its financial inclusion program. MasterCard also supports Apple Pay and has a credit card featuring an embedded fingerprint sensor scheduled for release in 2015.