/Alibaba’s Ant Financial to launch VR Pay in September

Alibaba’s Ant Financial to launch VR Pay in September

Alibaba financial service affiliate Ant Financial has confirmed that it will launch its VR Pay this September. The new product will enable users to pay in a scene of virtual reality, according to China Business Network (CBN).

In May, online retail giant eBay, and Australia’s largest department store group, Myer, jointly launched the world’s first VR department store. Inside the online virtual store, shoppers can use their smartphone and a VR headset to navigate through 12,500 products in a VR space. However, to complete an order, users must exit the VR space to finish the transaction via the eBay app.

Having established in March its “GM Lab” that explores VR shopping experiences, Alibaba held official debut of its VR shopping product Buy+ in July. Buy+ allows users to browse products such as clothes and bags, and call for virtual models to showcase items – before adding them to the shopping cart.

VR Pay will complete the VR shopping experience as it saves users the need to take off the VR headset to pay through a mobile app.

Embedded with Alibaba’s largest online payment service AliPay, when users place an order via VR Pay, a 3D AliPay cashier counter will jump out. Users can log into their AliPay accounts in three ways:

1. Gazing at a single point for a few seconds as a sign of confirmation;
2. Nodding the head, which is made possible by using gyroscope technology and special algorithms;
3. To make specific gestures, which requires devices other than a VR headset, like a sensor or a controller.

The transaction is finished after the input of a password.

According to the developer of VR Pay, this VR way of payment is now as safe and secure as mobile payment, though biological recognition technology may also be added in the future to make it even safer.

Ant Financial plan to make VR Pay available to third-party apps, who will be able to access a software development kit (SDK) of VR Pay.

Are you ready to go shopping in virtual reality?

(Top photo screened from Google Images)

Ke graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Master's Degree in English and has worked on projects with Ipsos MORI and SDI Media. She's particularly intrigued by China's thriving technology scene and is eager to write about this flourishing industry.