Every nod pays – Is what VR shoppers will say when Alibaba’s advanced payment system kicks in

by Shilpa Chatterjee


Chinese E-Com player Alibaba will soon launch a new and advanced payment system called VR Pay, where shoppers will simply need to nod their head to complete the payment transactions. This will be enabled by virtual reality (VR) headsets worn by shoppers, allowing them to pay without removing the devices. With VR Pay (expected to be ready for commercial launch by 2016 end), shoppers can choose their products from virtual shopping malls by looking and then nodding at the items of their choice.

In the recent past, various E-Com companies experimenting with this form of shopping technology saw that customers have to take off the VR headset and then go through with the payment process. Alibaba’s new system however incorporates a technology that will let customers move seamlessly from browsing to paying without the need to take off the headset. The objective is to expedite and sophisticate the VR shopping experience like never before.

According to reports by Reuters, this new ‘tech-smart’ payment system is being developed by Ant Financial Services Group, operators of Alipay – China’s biggest online payment service boasting 450+ million active users on a daily basis. Ant Financial says that this new VR-based payment infrastructure can transform VR into a really smart tool, as it will connect different VR goggle makers and app developers to the Alipay payment platform.

For those who think that a virtual shelf and the simplicity of nodding at products therein guarantees ‘accidental’ buying, there’s no reason to fret. A confirmation process is in place – To begin with, VR Pay will verify the user’s identity, achievable via linked account logins on connected devices or by using unique voice recognition technology. Following this, the payment would need authentication through a password that may be keyed in by touch, head movement, or staring at one point on the virtual display for more than 1.5 seconds. Being super convenient in a VR setting, compared to other biometric recognition technologies, this one’s a winner.

However, apart from Alibaba, there are others too in this ‘advanced shopping technology’ bandwagon. Startup Cimagine has developed an augmented reality tool using which, shoppers can ‘virtually’ see how purchased furniture would actually look in the space it is bought for. Similarly, a few American home improvement stores have begun using this technology to let customers visualize the way their newly remodeled kitchen would look before installation.

In May 2016, EBay collaborated with Myer to launch a virtual reality department store in Australia. The fashion industry is catching up too, letting customers shop from the comfort of their homes and even try on the merchandise they like. Dior and Hilfiger are already allowing customers to experience runway shows through VR headsets made available at their stores.

VR Pay is a part of Alibaba’s newest endeavour to leverage the latest online shopping technology. Last year, Alibaba launched a mobile payment system based on facial recognition, aptly christened – “Pay with a selfie.”

[ Via : Digitaltrends ]

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