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Smiling Is Officially A Major Mode Of Payment. Would You Say Cheese To Pay Fees?
By Thanussha Priyah, 05 Sep 2019
Image via via helloabc / Shutterstock.com
China’s technological industry has been progressing rapidly, where cashless payments through mobile is deemed as one of the most advanced in the world.
Right when you think the world is catching up to the Chinese, they have already moved onto the next phase: Facial Payment Technology.
The latest mode of payment in China allows individuals to make purchases by simply striking a pose in front of next-level point-of-sale (POS) machines, which are set up with cameras that will scan your face.
All you have to do prior is link an image of your face to a digital payment system or bank account.
Facial recognition is famously being used in China to monitor citizens, which has resulted in authorities taking heat for scrutinizing dissents, especially in the region of Xinjiang, which is big on in surveillance.
Alipay, all-round mobile payment service, has been leading this wave in China with its devices in 100 cities so far. The firm already launched an upgrade of its ‘Smile-to-Pay’ system, which was introduced in 2017. The improved technology is similar to the iPad’s size; around US$420 million has been set aside by the firm to implement it in the next three years.
Multi-purpose messaging app WeChat, which has around 600 million users, released a similar machine called ‘Frog Pro’ in August.
Now that the technological climate in China is heading towards this system, other startups are also jumping on the bandwagon.
In Tianjin, there is already a self-service supermarket known as IFuree, which uses a 3D camera to scan the faces of customers down to width, height and depth.
Though facial recognition technology can intrude one’s privacy and security, many consumers are actually in favor of the new payment method.
IFuree engineer Li Dongliang claims that the it protects consumers’ privacy better because entering passwords manually could be risky with people standing around them.
Rather than privacy, many are actually irked by vanity. A poll by news portal Sina Technology cites that over 60-percent of survey respondents feel that facial scans made them feel “ugly”.
Alipay has responded with a promise to implement “beauty filters” into its Alipay cameras in the future.
[via The Guardian, image via helloabc / Shutterstock.com]
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