Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial is adding new fuel to the quick rise of automated stores in China this Tuesday by opening its unmanned technologies to merchants.

The Alipay solutions will enable automated customer ID authentication, risk control, payment, and clearance, allowing customers to enjoy service provided by merchants without the help of their staff. The same technology has been applied to Tao Café, Alibaba’s cashier-less coffee shop driven by computer vision and sensor technologies. “The matured fraction of our IoT payment solutions is open to the merchants this time,” introduced Jiang Kui, an Ant Financial executive.

Ant Financial expects its technology to have wider applications in all kinds of scenarios such as unmanned sales stands, mini karaoke kiosks, fitness rooms, working spaces, and more. But for the time being, the solution only applies to single-user scenarios rather than more complex cases where multiple users can be identified at the same time.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.