Tencent Launches Palm Payments on WeChat Pay
Starting from June 11, Tencent will begin to introduce palm recognition through its WeChat Pay service. The verification method will first be tested on the Airport Express Line in Beijing, China before expanding to other locations and settings including offices, retail outlets, college campuses, and restaurants.
Users simply need to hold their hands over designated scanners, currently situated at select metro station turnstiles, and an automatic payment is made. The technology which is developed by the AI lab YouTu, scans both the surface-level palm prints as well as hand veins to make a read.
For now, eligible users include residents in mainland China who have completed the real name verification process for WeChat Pay. While the new payment method is far from becoming the new norm, issues regarding biometric data security have been raised by experts and development will likely be closely monitored.
"In our aim to improve efficiency and greatly simplify user experience, we are making new technology more user-friendly for the elderly and accessible to people with disabilities," Tencent said in a statement.
Alibaba is reportedly working on similar technology for its Alipay service. Alibaba and WeChat Pay combined currently take up 90 percent of mobile payments in the mainland China market.
In the US, Amazon introduced hand-scanning tech titled Amazon One for its offline stores back in 2020. The payment method later expanded to its Whole Foods locations.
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