Alibaba to introduce ‘Smile to pay’ technology that will allow users to pay using Selfie

A mobile purchase security system is being developed by Chinese e-commerce merchant Alibaba. The security system would authenticate payments by matching a photo taken by the user at the time of purchase with one stored on their smartphone.

The technology is currently being tested by Ant Financial, an Alibaba affiliate that runs the Alipay payment service, which is China's largest online and mobile payments service.

Apart from the new selfie-based payment scheme, Ant Financial is also developing another voice-command activated verification method before purchasing online.

The facial-recognition payment system called 'Smile to Pay' was demonstrated by Jack Ma, founder and CEO of Alibaba Group Holdings, at the CeBIT 2015 conference in Germany this week.

Ma whipped out his smartphone and demonstrated the selfie payment verification feature. His phone displayed a white outline of a man's portrait. Then he positioned his image from the front camera inside the outline. A few seconds later, the transaction was complete.

Ma said, "Using online payments to buy things is always a big headache. You forget your password; you worry about security". The feature is expected to roll out to China first before it will be available in other countries, most probably by 2017.

Although Alibaba is able to generate high sales in the United States, it is growing around the world and planning further expansion. Alibaba is one of the world's largest e-commerce company that sells items and several merchandise on its online stores through websites or mobile apps.

In September 2014, the company gathered $21.8 billion on the first day of its stock sales in a then-record IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.

Facial recognition is not only being experimented by Alibaba. In CES (Consumer Electronics Show) earlier this year, Intel introduced their facial scanning technology called 'True Key', which allows users to access accounts using a facial scan.