Banks could use heartbeats to identify customers

Wristband sensors could use heartbeats to log on to mobile bank accounts Credit: PA Wire

Mobile banking customers could use their heartbeats rather than a password to check their finances in the future.

Halifax is currently trialling wristbands containing sensors that can pick up heartbeats and use it as a way of logging into mobile phone bank accounts.

The band using electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors would be connected to a smartphone via bluetooth and as each person's heartbeat is unique it would protect against fraud, Halifax said.

Halifax's director of innovation and digital development, Marc Lien, said the bank is keen to explore wearable technology, adding that it "will help us further understand how we can serve our customers in the best way that appeals to their needs".

ECG data is captured when the customer wears the band on one wrist and touches it with a finger on their opposite hand.

Halifax is also exploring the possibility of the bands being used with computers and tablets.

The bands are at an early development stage and there are no immediate plans in the pipeline to start giving them to customers, Halifax said.

Banks are increasingly looking at innovative ways of helping people to move their money around more easily.

Since February, customers of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), NatWest and Ulster Bank have been able to log in to their mobile banking app using just their fingerprint.

And last year, Barclaycard unveiled its bPay wristband, which allows people to pay with a wave of the wrist.