Ant Financial claims facial recognition first
Ant Financial completed a small-scale commercial launch of a contactless payment system using facial recognition to verify users, a little over two years after first unveiling the technology.
The company deployed the technology in self-service terminals at a new health-focused restaurant launched by KFC in Hangzhou, China. Named Smile to Pay, the service enables users of Ant Financial’s Alipay mobile wallet service to pay for meals by scanning their facial features.
Jack Ma, CEO of Ant Financial parent Alibaba Group, first unveiled the technology in early 2015. During the Mobile World Congress Shanghai event later in the year, Jason Lu, then VP with Alipay, predicted such biometric authentication would make traditional passwords redundant within three years.
Photo courtesy of Danor Shtruzman.