Jack Ma, the Executive Chairman of Internet giant Alibaba, has demonstrated a prototype allowing facial recognition to verify your identity and make payment online. All it requires is for users to take a selfie and link their credit card details to open an account, and in future at the checkout, rather than logging in, remembering passwords etc, simply take another selfie and the facial recognition software knows who you are, takes payment and launches delivery.
Online businesses have long been looking for ways to simplify the checkout process, a point at which many consumers abandon their shopping cart. Jack Ma may well have the answer.
Imagine a bricks and mortar extension of this technology: a camera on the checkout register that works out who you are as your purchases are being scanned so you can collect your goods and walk straight off – no need to tap or insert credit cards.
Whilst this prototype may never make it into mainstream use, it’s a great example of rejecting the status quo and looking for better ways to meet customer needs. It also hits on one of our 8 Rules of Growing a Great Business – Making your Products Easy to Buy. You need to ensure your products and services are available wherever and whenever your customers need them, and that the process of buying focusses on the value-add activities (eg. great service, upsell and cross-sell opportunities etc) instead of providing an opportunity to frustrate and discourage.
Pay By Face may well change the face of how we transact!