Paying for Stuff With Your Heartbeat is Now a Thing

By Chris Mills on at

Apple Pay’s fingerprint authentication is already miles better than the laughable magnetic strip on our credit cards. To go one better, a company has created a payment system based on heartbeats.

The Nymi Band is like a contactless credit card, which only works when you (and only you) are wearing it. It uses a sensor to record the electrical activity of the wearer’s heart, the same kind of thing a hospital uses during an ECG.

That electrical activity is apparently unique to each individual, which allows Nymi to build a ‘Heart ID’, which is used to authenticate the wearer and allow them to make payments using NFC, the same technology that powers contactless credit cards (and Apple Pay).

It sounds like a pipe-dream technology, but Nymi actually has a trial up and running for Canadian Mastercard users. The trial will expand to more Canadian banks later this year.

But I don’t think that you’ll be seeing the Nymi Band in stores any time soon — far more likely is the technology being integrated into smartwatches, which already have most of the sensors and smarts to pull the trick off.