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Mobile payments may be all the rage right now, but the Canadian based start-up Bionym is betting that some consumers will want to actually wear their payment source. The company has developed a wearable device called the Nymi that reads a user's electrocardiogram, or heart rhythm, for identification. Because a person's heart rhythm is unique, just like a person's fingerprint, the wrist band can act as a key of sorts, allowing to use it to authenticate their identity in a variety of situations. "So it authenticates your identity, and once it knows who you are you can use it for things like unlocking your devices, bypassing passwords and pins, including making payments," said Karl Martin, Bionym's CEO and co-founder.
Bionym recently partnered with MasterCard and RBC for a pilot trial slated to launch early next year that use the Nymi band to verify NFC payments with the tap of a wrist. While paying with a smartphone often requires a PIN number or fingerprint authentication, the Nymi band enables a wearer to make a payment by wearing the band because the identity is tied to the cardiac rhythm of the user, which makes the payment process seamless, Martin said.