Halifax Bank trials heart rate technology to authenticate customers

Halifax Bank is trialling heart monitoring technology to authenticate its customers through account security systems, without them having to memorise passwords.

Halifax has undertaken a “proof of concept” on how the Nymi Band can be used to reduce the need for customers to remember multiple passwords. The band authenticates the wearer using an electrocardiogram (ECG) when it is first placed on the wrist. Another set of sensors then continuously detect that the authenticated person is still wearing the band.

The Nymi Band guarantees that only the devices the Nymi Band has been paired with can detect its presence. Marc Lien, Halifax Bank director of innovation and digital development, said: “Exploring innovative technology that will help deliver for our customers and enhance our overall capabilities is a real focus for us at the bank.

“We are in the very early stages of exploring potential uses 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.”

Jason Goode, managing director EMEA at Ping Identity, said of the Halifax Bank development: “Heartbeat authentication may sound like an idea fit for a sci-fi epic, but it should come as no surprise that the banking industry is starting to embrace this next generation of application technology.

“Biometric technologies such as fingerprint recognition, iris scans or cardiac signature not only facilitate a faster service in our on-demand culture, but they also centre on the user’s identity - an imperative aspect.”

The move to personalised devices and user-centric demands, said Goode, means passwords and PINs are “simply no longer fit for purpose”.

This story, "Halifax Bank trials heart rate technology to authenticate customers" was originally published by Techworld.com.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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