Face++, a China-based company specializing in facial recognition technology, has raised $47 million in its latest round of funding, according to a TechCrunch article by Catherine Shu.
At least part of investors’ excitement comes from the company’s splashy partnership with Ant Financial, the Alibaba subdivision that’s putting together the Alipay mPayment platform. Like the mPayment killer app, Apple Pay, Alipay is going to use biometric authentication for payments; but rather than having users scan their fingerprints, the platform will use Face++ facial recognition technology. That system is currently dubbed “Smile to Pay“.
There are some concerns about the security of such a system, however: The facial recognition technology could be vulnerable to spoofing. Of course, Apple’s Touch ID system is, too, and that hasn’t stopped users from flocking to it. And if Alipay goes the much more secure route of multi-factor authentication, using Smile to Pay along with another modality or additional security feature, it could prove both easy to use and very secure.