RBC Tests Nymi Wristband, In Hopes You'll Tap Your Wrist To Pay

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TORONTO - You've heard of paying retailers with the tap of a smartphone, but Royal Bank thinks shoppers are ready to take another big step: wearing payment options on their wrist.

The bank has paired with Toronto-based technology developer Bionym to test a wristband called Nymi (pronounced Nim-ee), which identifies owners through their unique heartbeats when charging purchases to their credit or debit cards.

A pilot project in Toronto involving 250 clients and RBC staff, as well as 45 merchants, will run through February.

Eventually, the bank hopes to roll out its RBC PayBand across the country.

For now, the Nymi band will only work with MasterCard, though eventually the bank hopes to include bank accounts and gift cards.

Jeremy Bornstein, head of Payments Innovation at Royal Bank (TSX:RY), says he realizes the wristband won't appeal to everyone, but that he wants it to become part of a broader array of payment options.

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