Ant Financial Services Group, the payments arm of Alibaba Group, has snapped up biometric security startup EyeVerify for an undisclosed sum.

EyeVerify will now operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ant Financial, and will remain headquartered in Kansas City.

Ant Financial vice president of fraud risk management Jason Lu said: “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.

“It is an important extension of our efforts to accelerate the global adoption of secure mobile payments and allows us to improve our overall risk management.”

EyeVerify has created mobile eye verification technology Eyeprint ID, which was integrated into Ant Financial’s payment authentication platform following a licensing agreement between the two companies earlier in 2016.

The technology allows users to transform an ordinary selfie into a key for authentication purposes, thereby phasing out the need of passwords. The technology is highly accurate, easy to use, and spoof-proof, EyeVerify says.

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EyeVerify founder and CEO Toby Rush said: “Our payment-grade biometric platform is already trusted by over three dozen banks and technology leaders, and we look forward to helping even more people across the financial spectrum access digital services with security and convenience.”