Facial recognition to pay for purchases, a growing trend in China

In China, many consumers are making use of this growing trend, facial recognition. They do not need a credit card, much less a cell phone to pay for their purchases, they just need to scan the face and in a matter of seconds the errand is finished. How does this work? Here we tell you all about it.

Bo Hu, is the director of IT services for the Chinese bakery chain Wedome. A brand known for selling Western products tailored to Chinese tastes is using this facial recognition system in many of its outlets, he says:

“Paying with nothing was not possible at the beginning of mobile payments (with QR codes), but today it is, thanks to the rise of facial recognition.”

In China, this technology is being used more and more frequently every day, whether to eat at KFC restaurants or even to unlock a computer. Other well-known uses are: to find fugitives in crowds or to locate people crossing streets outside crosswalks.

Facial recognition, Smile to pay technology

All consumers who want to make use of facial recognition to pay for purchases need to do is add a photograph of their face to their bank account. Once in the store, all they have to do is stand in front of a special scanner.

Alipay, the Chinese leader in mobile payment, already has more than one hundred machines installed throughout the country. They are convinced that, in the future, this technology will be the most widely used, not only in China but worldwide. For this reason, they plan to invest some $419 million over the next three years to improve their Smile-to-pay technology.

A supermarket in Beijing is also doing its own thing with facial recognition. On the site there are no cashiers, just enter the store and at the time of payment each customer scans their items and then they scan their face, immediately the total value is deducted from the bank account.

However, this type of technology, although it represents progress in terms of consumer security, as it avoids the danger of having to type in their bank card codes in front of strangers. It also exposes all kinds of data about individuals, leaving each user’s preferences and data unprotected.

If you liked this article, you may also want to read: A virtual reality set that recognizes your face, the next thing from Apple.

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