Heartbeat signals could replace PIN codes for online banking

Halifax is testing a wristband that uses an ECG signal to log in to accounts 

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The Independent Online

Forget PIN codes and key cards – Halifax is testing a wristband that will log users into their online bank account using the rhythm of their heartbeat.

The Nymi Band uses Bluetooth to pair with an app on Mac, Windows or Android. User places their finger on a small metal plate on the top of the band. A current then passes through to the wrist below. The user’s heartbeat ‘signature’ is then matched with one in a database.

A set of sensors check that the person, once identified, is still wearing the band – to stop identity theft.

Heartbeats are extremely hard to fake – unlike fingerprints or biometric scans.

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Marc Lien, Halifax’s director of innovation and digital development, said that testing was in the early stages but that Nymi Band study was part of research into wearable technology that could improve security online.