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Alipay starts face-scanning solutions with beauty filters in China's largest bookstore

Xinhua
Alipay started operating its facial recognition payment systems with beauty filters at Xinhua Bookstores, the largest bookstore in China, the company announced Tuesday.
Xinhua

Chinese payment and service platform Alipay started operating its facial recognition payment systems with beauty filters at Xinhua Bookstores, the largest bookstore in China, the company announced Tuesday.

The first batch of Dragonfly devices, Alipay's new facial recognition point-of-sale systems, have been installed at more than 40 Xinhua Bookstores in east China's Zhejiang Province, which will be gradually equipped across its over 14,000 outlets in the country.

Alipay added beauty filters to its pay-with-face systems amid female consumers' complaints that facial recognition machines capture unflattering images.

"According to some interesting data, we found that women were less likely to use face-scanning payment at first," said Xuan Yuan, a staff member with Alipay, "So we thought maybe we can learn from other beauty apps and make women fall in love with facial recognition."

After adding the feature, Alipay has attracted more female consumers to pay with its facial recognition system, according to Xuan.

Pan Helin, a postdoctoral researcher at the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences, said that while facial recognition payment brings convenience to people's lives, it also improves payment security as the facial data cannot be modified like passwords.

Data from Alipay shows that among the users who utilize face-scanning payment in China, those born in the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s account for more than 80 percent.

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