Payment Methods

Alibaba’s Ant Financial Demonstrates VR Pay

Virtual reality is growing in popularity, so it’s not too surprising it’s making its way into payments, with Alibaba Group’s finance arm, Ant Financial, demonstrating a payment service that lets shoppers pay for things by nodding their heads.

Dubbed “VR Pay,” the virtual reality payment service is the latest example of Alibaba trying to capitalize on cutting-edge technology in online shopping. Last year, it rolled out facial recognition technology for Alipay. With VR Pay, consumers using virtual reality goggles to shop at virtual reality shopping malls will be able to pay for the goods without taking off the goggles. Nodding will complete the transaction, according to a report.

Lin Feng, who is in charge of Ant Financial’s incubator, F Lab, which has been developing the payment service, told Reuters: “It is very boring to have to take off your goggles for payment. With this, you will never need to take out your phone.”

According to the report, the identity of the user can be verified on VR Pay from account logins of devices that are connected to the shopping mall or through voice print technology that recognizes the unique voices of people. Lin told Reuters it’s the easiest method to pay in a VR setting compared to other biometric recognition technologies. Passwords will be required, which users will be able to enter via head movements, touch or staring at a point on a virtual display for more than a second and a half. VR Pay will be ready to launch commercially later this year, noted the report.

Ant Financial noted in the report that VR Pay can make virtual reality a tool rather than just something consumers play with. That can happen by connecting VR goggle makers and app developers to the Alipay payments platform.

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