Last March, Alibaba’s chairman Jack Ma wowed the audience at the CeBit conference in Hannover, Germany by debuting a feature that used facial recognition to buy and pay for products. The South China Morning Post reported Ma then took a selfie and used it to buy a souvenir stamp from a 1948 Hannover trade fair found on Taobao.
Alipay, Tencent and other digital payment players in China have been under pressure by the country’s central bank to beef up security in the payment industry. The People’s Bank of China issued rules last December requiring third-party payment platforms to have at least two methods of verifying a user’s identity before making a digital transaction.
Other exciting features introduced at the conference include the introduction of a robot customer service assistant and an on-site demonstration of a palm-reading recognition software to verify identities.