large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Halifax testing heartrate security to unlock online bank accounts

UK building society Halifax is testing a scheme which would allow users to log into their online banking accounts using heartrate data.

Using a wrist-loaded wearable called the Nymi band, which measures and stores heartrate information, users can ditch their password or fingerprint sensor.

Wearers must touch the sensor on the Nymi with one digit, while the device touches the skin on their other wrist. This logs the heartrate patterns using the band’s built-in ECG.

They can then pair the wristband with their iOS, Android, Windows or Mac device using Bluetooth technology. Once the companion Halifax app is able to authenticate the unique heartrate data then users will be allowed into the application in order to do their banking.

The scheme (via Wired) is currently at the proof of concept stage, but Halifax feels it may provide users with greatly improved security compared with the current methods of logging in online.

After all, anyone can guess a password, your fingerprint isn’t impossible to copy, but it sure would be touch to replicate a user’s ECG data.

Read more: 24 great Android apps

Marc Lien, Halifax’s 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.”

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.