China is one of the leading countries to advance in mobile payment. The introduction of facial payment technology for payments by face recognition is increasingly being embraced. The system uses cameras which are equipped on point-of-sale (POS) machines, customers simply have posed in front on it. The image is linked to their bank account or digital payment system.
According to chief information officer of Wedome bakery, Bo Hu, whose hundreds of stores run facial payment machines, said that this method eliminates the need to carry your cell phone around and allows you to simply shop without anything. He added that we couldn’t do this in the earlier stages of mobile payment but is now possible due to the birth of facial recognition technology.
The facial recognition technology has attracted concerns of privacy and data security but consumers in the high street are not much concern.
In China, Alibaba has been leading the charge with its financial app Alipay. The company has already established the device in 100 cities.
The company is initiating the trend with a recent upgrade “Smile-to-Pay” system and the machine being used for the payment is roughly the size of an iPad. They have also predicted a heavy growth in the sector. Alipay is set to invest three billion yuan ($420m) over three years to implement this technology.
Retiree Zhang Liming said that the new system is very conventional and different from traditional supermarket payment as it will avoid the checkout line.
Bo Hu said that there are facial payment systems in 300 of his bakeries and he is planning to introduce them in 400 more to make the checkout process more efficient.
Despite privacy being one of the major issue customers there is also a growing concern of vanity. According to a news poll by Sina Technology over 60% of the consumers complained that they feel ugly while scanning their faces during payments.
Alibaba, in response, to this issue has assured to introduce “beautifying filters” in the cameras.