These giants are trying out identity verification through the use of Bionym wearable technology.
The Royal Bank of Canada and MasterCard Inc. are working together with a Canadian startup called Bionym, which has created a wearable technology device called Nymi, and that will now be used in a pilot program to add security to the mobile payments service.
The Nymi wearables are a wristband designed to verify the user’s identity through his or her heartbeat.
The goal is to be able to use an individual’s cardiac rhythm instead of passwords, keys, and pin codes when making mobile payments. This new trial program will make it possible for the largest bank in Canada, RBC, to work with MasterCard to test whether or not it could be possible for people using their smartphones to pay for products and services to enjoy a rapid and easy mobile security technology through electrocardiogram authentications.
This mobile payments security test is slated to begin before the end of the year.
According to a statement from Jeremy Bornstein, the head of payment innovation at RBC, “We’re continuing to work to provide customers increased choice how they pay.” He added that “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.”
This new mobile security tech has arrived at a time in which retailers throughout North America have been struggling with a range of high profile and devastating data breaches in which account numbers and other sensitive information from customers that have paid for purchases with their credit cards has been stolen.
Among the biggest names to have faced this type of cyber attack was Target Corp. Despite the fact that the data breach occurred last year, it is continuing to work to recover from the theft of 40 million gift, credit and debit card numbers, as well as 70 million additional pieces of personal information such as customer phone numbers and email addresses. Home Depot, Michaels Stores, and many other large retailers have suffered similar fates.
The hope of RBC and MasterCard is that by using the Bionym technology to boost the security of their mobile payments, it will help to keep their customer data far more secure than the current standard.