A New Authentication System by Bionym to Safeguard Smartwatch Mobile Payments

Bionym recently announced a payment pilot project that they would be conducting later this year along with MasterCard, RBC and other issuing banks. The pilot project will feature trials of a new prototype ‘Nymi Band’ tied to a MasterCard credit card for payment. The pilot project will take place exclusively in Canada before the end of the year.

This pilot will take things at the forefront of innovative payment technology as Bionym pioneers the world’s first biometrically authenticated wearable payment solution. This payment experience is an excellent pilot for persistent identity and will result in faster, easier financial experiences with less risk. The Nymi Band requires a single authentication, using your unique ECG to confirm your identity and will then remain activated until it is removed.

Karl Martin, CEO of Bionym, said in an interview with Canadian Business: What’s out there already is the tap-and-pay, which has no authentication. So in the case of contactless payments where somebody else uses your card, the onus is on you to notice that your card is gone, and then deactivate it. What we’re trying to do is build a higher level of trust, so that in the long term you can reduce fees and make contactless payment a more trusted transaction. Compared to what’s out there today, we’re certainly offering a higher level of security or trust.

This payment pilot has been developed based on existing standards for contactless payment and creates extensions on users’ existing cards. This new payments experience will work with all retailers that support contactless payments today without requiring any major changes. This clearly seems in-line with the future of payments, where cash disappears and next generation payment technology slowly takes over. In fact, cash is only used for 10% of interactions in countries like Canada.