Canadian Vending

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Wearable payment ID’d by heartbeat tested in Canada


August 12, 2015
By Canadian Vending

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Toronto – Nymi, TD Bank Group and MasterCard, have announced completion of what they’re calling the first wearable credit card payment that is biometrically authenticated using one’s heartbeat.

The first payment was made as part of a pilot on July 10. More than 100 TD users in Toronto, Ottawa and Regina will be testing the Nymi Band’s contactless payment functionality until the end of the summer, as part of this closed payment pilot, Nymi said in a news release. Other participating Canadian banks are scheduled to launch similar pilots later this year, and Nymi expects several thousand payments to be made using the Nymi Band during this time.

The Nymi Band is a secure and continuous wearable authenticator that identifies a user based on their unique heartbeat (or electrocardiogram) through proprietary Nymi technology called HeartID. The company has developed an NFC-enabled prototype of the band for these pilots, which is linked to a user’s MasterCard. In doing so, participants can utilize the band to make secure, contactless payments using tap-and-go payment terminals found at many retailers.

“Nymi’s goal is to fundamentally change the way authentication is treated and to move industries towards a more secure and convenient identity model. 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,” said Nymi founder and chief executive officer Karl Martin in the release.

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“Working with Nymi’s secure, customer authentication technology is an example of how TD is exploring new and innovative ways of bringing the next level of convenience to our customers,” said Chuck Hounsell, senior vice-president, Payments, TD.

“Wearable and mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular among Canadians and we’re ensuring that every MasterCard transaction on the Nymi Band is safe, secure, seamless and convenient for our cardholders,” said Jason Davies, Head of Emerging Payments, MasterCard Canada. “In partnership with MasterCard Labs and Nymi, we’ll continue to invest in and explore cutting edge payment technologies.”

Nymi and MasterCard collaborated with NXP, a secure chips for payment provider, to prototype NFC-enabled Nymi Bands based on NXP’s SmartMX Technology.