Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is working on a payment technology that uses facial recognition, founder Jack Ma said Sunday in an on-stage demonstration at the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover, Germany, Recode reported.

“Online payments to buy things is always a big headache,” he said. “You forget your password, you worry about security. Today we’ll show you a new technology, how in the future people will buy things online.”

On a smartphone, Ma then pressed a “buy” button, which triggered a face-recognition routine. Ma looked like he was taking a selfie, and a white outline appeared around the shape of his head, as seen in a photograph on the trade fair’s official Twitter stream.



He used the technology to buy a souvenir stamp dating back to one of Hanover’s trade fairs in 1948. Ma said the stamp would be given to the city's mayor as a gift.

The facial-recognition technology is being developed by Ant Financial, an Alibaba Group unit that Ma wants to take public in 2017, according to Recode.