News & Resources

RBC Banking on Wearable Payment Technology

Nov. 14, 2014
1 mins
Grandson helps grandpa with virtual reality headset in living room

The Royal Bank of Canada is expecting that Canadians will jump on the wearable technology bandwagon and use a wristband to pay retailers.

The new Nymi wristband, now available for pre-order, looks like a watch and is currently being beta tested by RBC employees, major retail partners and gas station business operators.

The technology of using someone's unique heartbeat in order to approve credit card purchases was developed by Toronto-based start-up Bionym. The wristband employs Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and sensors to communicate with connected devices such as smartphones and recognizes a user's unique electrical heart signals. The device will automatically shut down if the proper heartbeat authentication is not made, which solves the problem of lost or stolen Nymis.

Currently, MasterCard is the only credit card company RBC is working with on the pilot project but the Nymi will eventually incorporate debit transactions.

Mobile payment and digital wallet use continue to ramp up as more Canadians are showing a preference for not carrying cash. As previously announced, Bell Mobility and RBC have partnered to develop advanced tap payment technology for smartphones.

Interestingly, a recent RBC Capital Markets survey shows that Apple's NFC-technology based mobile wallet, Apple Pay will grab between a 10 to 20 percent market share of mobile payments by 2019.

Also, Bionym recently raised $14 million in funding from several investors such as, Ignition Partners, Relay Ventures, Export Development Canada and MasterCard.

Cliff Boodoosingh

Latest life insurance articles

Do you need life insurance? A primer for Canadians
Life insurance isn’t a one-size-fits all solution. But if you have dependents, it can be an important financial safety net for those you love.
Learn More
7 mins read
Why life insurance should be part of estate planning for new parents
Life insurance is one of the best ways new parents can protect their family and help loved ones in the event of your unexpected death.
Learn More
5 mins read
10 Myths About Life Insurance Busted – Some May Surprise You
You may be young with no kids and no mortgage. Life insurance is for someone older, who has dependents right? Wrong. Let’s debunk life insurance myths and learn why everyone needs some form of coverage.
Learn More
6 mins read

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay on top of our latest offers, relevant news and tips!

Thanks for joining!

You'll be hearing from us shortly - stay tuned.