Alibaba to launch biometric payments

Alibaba is preparing to launch a biometric payment option as part of the Alipay mobile wallet. The fingerprint reader will be incorporated into a soon-to-be-launched smartphone from Huawei.

Huawei's Mate 7 smartphone will be released later this week and will allow users to make biometric payments using Alibaba's Alipay mobile wallet. According to Alibaba, Alipay is China's leading mobile-payment solution, with more than 100 million users.

"Biometric technology such as fingerprint or retina recognition is touted as a more secure and convenient method of identity authentication," according to a statement on the company's blog. "Banks, governments, credit-card companies and mobile phone manufacturers have been exploring possibilities in the industry, but the development path has some potholes. Fingerprint readers on Samsung's Galaxy 5 and Apple's iPhone 5 have been successfully hacked, defeating the security function that prevents unauthorized use."

The technology will allow users to make payments for goods and services with the touch of a finger.

Alibaba is preparing for its initial public offering on Sept. 8, and the event could rank as the largest IPO in history. The Chinese company's expansion has retailers on edge. The online shop and marketplace rivals Amazon in size and scope, and it's adding hardware to its toolbox to better capture customers.

For more:
-See this Alipay blog post

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