‘Pay With a Selfie’ another mobile service to be launched by e-commerce giant Alibaba

Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma makes a presentation during the official opening of the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover March 15, 2015. The world’s biggest computer and software fair will open to the public from March 16 to 20. Fabian Bimmer/REUTERS

Chinese tech and e-commerce giant Alibaba is developing facial recognition technology which allow consumers to pay by taking a selfie. Reports Conor Gaffey of Newsweek

The software, called Smile to Pay, was unveiled on Sunday evening by Alibaba founder Jack Ma at a German technology conference.

Ma demonstrated the technology by taking a photo of his face to purchase a 1948 Hannover stamp from Alibaba’s website, according to the South China Morning Post. He said that the product would avoid problems of security and forgotten passwords often associated with online payments.

“[Using] online payments to buy things is always a big headache,” he said. “You forget your password, you worry about security, today we’ll show you a new technology, how people in the future will buy things online.”

There is no date set for the technology’s launch, though Alibaba have said it will introduced in China first before being rolled out worldwide. It is being developed by Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba. According to American news agency CNBC, the firm is also trialling other payment technologies. These include the use of trigger phrases to authorise mobile payments or even using photos of tattoos or pets to verify transactions.

Newer iPhone models come with fingerprint scanners which can be used to make payments and access bank accounts. Samsung also unveiled its own Samsung Pay technology alongside a new Galaxy S6 mobile phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which closed earlier this month

Read on..