Majority of payments to Alibaba for world’s biggest online shopping day verified with biometrics

Majority of payments to Alibaba for world’s biggest online shopping day verified with biometrics

November 11 is known as “Singles Day” in China, and is the biggest day of the year for retailers in the country. This year, Alibaba Group online retailer Tmall conducted 60.3 percent of its CNY213.5 billion (US$30.7 billion) in business with biometric face or fingerprint identity verification, Yicai Global reports.

The milestone use of biometrics validates a prediction by Alipay VP Jason Lu that mobile payments would be verified by biometrics rather than passwords within three years, made just over three years ago at the 2015 Digital Commerce Summit.

Adobe Analytics calculates that U.S. retailers earned a combined $14.5 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2017.

At the peak of the shopping bonanza, Alibaba ecommerce platforms processed 1.7 billion records per second, according to Ant Financial Services Group, up from 42 million per second last year. The volume forces payment platform Alipay to innovate continuously, Yicai Global says.

Ant Financial Deputy Chief of Technology Hu Xi said the core technologies Alipay depends on are completely open, and the company has opened up its technologies including distributed middleware, distributed databases, blockchain, and biometrics developed since 2015. The company is using blockchain to trace the origins of cross-border orders for 150 million items, according to the report.

Alipay has also extended biometric payments to offline retail environments, opening its first “Future Pharmacy” with facial recognition checkouts earlier this year.

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