Alipay VP sees face as the future of payments
15 July 2015 14:49 GMT

Alipay vice president Jason Lu has told a conference in China that facial recognition will become the future biometric modality used to authenticate mobile payments.

Speaking at GSMA Mobile World in Shanghai, Lu said there was nothing secretive about user’s faces, compared with fingerprints. “Nobody puts their fingerprints on social media, right?”, reported Mobile World Live.

In June, an online bank being launched in China by a subsidiary of payments giant Alibaba has had to postpone plans to use facial recognition to open accounts after authorities suggested there were security risks.

Earlier this year, Alibaba’s mobile payments arm, Alipay, noted plans to access the national police’s facial database so that prospective customers can open bank accounts with a mugshot.

Lu noted that while hackers could potentially use a user’s photo to fool facial recogonition,but pointed out a workaround to that weakness: a system that requires the user to move, for instance by issuing random orders such as asking them to shake their heads.

He said that in the coming three years, entering a password will be “dead”, he declared. “No one will have to remember words and numbers. Instead they will use fingerprint or face,” he said.

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