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Alibaba's Ant Group Seeks Patent for Palm Recognition in Digital Payments

Updated: Jan 5

Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding, has applied for a patent to use palm recognition in digital payments, aligning with the growing trend of biometric authentication in China's cashless transactions.

Daxing Airport Express
Credit: Getty Images

This move reflects the increasing interest among Chinese tech firms in exploring biometric methods for secure and convenient cashless transactions.

The patent application, filed in March by Ant Group's subsidiary, Alipay (Hangzhou) Information Technology Co, details the integration of palm recognition technology into payment systems and devices. Upon initiating a payment verification request, the user terminal's camera captures the user's palm image, which is then cross-checked against their pre-submitted biometric records.

The user terminal can encompass a range of devices, including mobile phones, tablet computers, e-book readers, virtual reality devices, or vehicle-mounted systems. This development follows the footsteps of Tencent Holdings' WeChat Pay, which introduced palm payments on the Beijing Daxing Airport Express Line and gradually expanded to other settings like offices, schools, shops, and restaurants.

WeChat Pay and Alipay dominate over 90% of China's mobile payments market share. Notably, the adoption of palm recognition technology extends beyond China, with global tech giants also investing in this field. For example, introduced Amazon One, its own hand-scan technology, which debuted in offline stores in 2020 and later expanded to various Whole Foods locations.

  • Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba, has applied for a patent for palm recognition in digital payments.

  • The patent application focuses on integrating palm recognition technology into payment systems and devices.

  • Users' palm images are captured and compared to pre-submitted biometric records for verification.

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