Your new smart watch is just one selfie away

Woody taking a selfie

The one thing ecommerce does well is consistently improves the quality and speed of service that customers buy products. It’s in every seller’s interest to have the quickest and safest checkout possible. Helping you keep buyers on the line and your takings safe from credit card fraud should be pretty high on every sellers priority list.

Lucky for us, selfies are coming to the rescue!

Amazon, the American online retailer, has integrated its facial recognition software into their checkout service. That’s right. You can now take a picture of yourself to buy items online.
This is good for both parties. The customer gets to check-out quickly without entering all that billing information and Amazon gets to safely verify that it is you that is making the purchase and not someone else.

So how does this payment service work?

You click “buy” on an item you want, take a selfie which is linked to your financial information and then receive the item by mail some time later.

Amazon Facial Recognition Patent Plans
Amazon Facial Recognition Patent Plans

I know what you’re asking, why the winking? Well the winking is so that customers cannot just use pictures of other people to fool the software and purchase items.

Amazon isn’t the only one that thinks that “Selfie Pay” is a good idea. Payment giant Mastercard and ecommerce tycoon Alibaba have looked into the checkout method as well. Alibaba, recently announced that they will be moving to Australia to test this checkout method. Only Alibaba won’t be making you take a selfie in order to purchase an item; it will seamlessly scan your face as you click through the site and have it authorised around your account. In 2015 Alibaba showcased the first look at their facial recognition software that needed a selfie. Since then they have revealed that it might happen seamlessly.

Can’t be a bad idea right? Millennials are a huge target in the retail wars. According to Active Insights, Millennials will have more buying power in the retail industry than Baby Boomers therefore making them a good choice to target. Amazon has taken a social aspect that appeals to a large target market and used it to streamline their buying processes and soften any social concerns around facial recognition.
Facial recognition isn’t just a passing phase.

I think it’s the future of mobile buying. But we as a society have some trust issues with technology that we have to work through before it is adopted by everyone.

Thousands of people are already giving their face data to snapchat so they can pretend to be a household pet.

This new payment method is just a testament to the retail industry going mobile. Now the customer can buy on-the-move, on trains, buses and during lunch times on mobile devices.
For me this new payment method means I can finally justify taking a pictures of myself in public. Are duck lips a requirement for buying your next pair of shoes? I guess we will see.

Patrick Hodge - Marketing Coordinator

Resident Hipster and Marketing Coordinator for Neocreative. Author, Ecommerce professional and Inbound Marketer. Patrick spends his time running on the treadmill of continuous improvement to counteract his love for cookies.

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