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Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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Alibaba Finance Affiliate Ant Financial Acquires Eye-Scan Firm EyeVerify for $100 Million

Ant Financial, EyeVerify

(Photo : Getty Images) Ant Financial's deal with EyeVerify will allow the company to use biometric tools like eye-recognition software to fight fraud.

Alibaba Group payment affiliate Ant Financial Services has acquired EyeVerify Inc. to expand its business operations in the United States.

The award-winning start-up would be completely owned by Ant Financial, but its headquarters will remain in Kansas City, the South China Morning Post reported. EyeVerify is Ant Financial's first investment in an American company. Ant plans to use EyeVerify’s technology to upgrade its security systems. 

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According to inside sources, the purchase costs $100 million and that it was an all-cash transaction, according to Fortune. The deal is important to Ant Financial because the company plans to use biometric tools like eye-recognition software to fight fraud. EyeVerify would now have access to over 450 million people and authenticate payments on Alipay’s huge peer-to-peer network. 

“The acquisition of EyeVerify is a critical part of our effort to make bold, yet thoughtful moves to continually enhance user trust, safety, and experience,” the Vice President of fraud risk management at Ant Financial Jason Lu said.

EyeVerify technology examines the blood vessels behind the white part of a client’s eyes and creates a digital key equal to a 50-character complex password. This technology is reportedly as accurate as fingerprint sensors.

EyeVerify CEO Toby Rush said that the deal with Ant has been approved by U.S banking regulators. Rush explained that EyeVerify does collect or store any biometric information and the eye-authentication process only takes place on the customer's device.

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