Just a quickie today, as I wasn’t planning to post anything, but a story on the radio this morning made me prick up my little AML ears. Apparently the Halifax bank here in the UK is trying out some new technology which uses your heartbeat to identify you. You wear a special wifi wristband, and the system learns the unique pattern of your heartbeat and uses that to allow (or deny) you access to your bank account via your mobile phone. All very exciting and Star Trek, but one little problem did spring to mind.
One of my favourite films is the whimsical French “Amelie”. At the start of it, the heroine reveals that she had a very sheltered childhood because her father – a doctor – believed that she had a heart problem. Why? Because he was not a very demonstrative man, and the only time he would touch her was when he was giving her a medical check-up. And the little girl found the unaccustomed cuddles from her papa so exciting that her heart-rate would shoot up. Might something similar happen with Halifax customers? Might the excitement of being due diligence pioneers prove so thrilling that the heartbeat that is recorded on their file at the outset of the initiative does not match their normal pattern which will reinstate itself further down the line, when their banking activity returns to its mundane reality of paying bills and looking in vain for interest?