Tencent rolls out pay-by-palm service at sports center in Beijing

2023-10-26 China Daily Editor:Li Yan

A passenger scans her palm to access a subway station in Beijing. (WANG ZHUANGFEI/CHINA DAILY)

Chinese tech company Tencent Holdings will allow customers to wave their palms over a scanner to pay for their entrance tickets to the Ying Tung Natatorium of the National Olympic Sports Center in Beijing.

Customers can also use their palms to access lockers and enter the deep water areas of the indoor swimming pool. Previously, they were required to carry a certificate to swim in deep water.

The move, which could replace payments through smartphones, will further expand the scope of the cashless pay-by-palm application in the country, industry experts said.

The technology, launched on Wednesday by WeChat Pay, the payments subsidiary of Tencent, will detect a user's unique palm print and trigger an automatic reading or payment of the person's WeChat account.

Zhang Zheng, deputy director of the Olympic sports center, said greater efforts will be made in the future to deepen cooperation with Tencent to promote the construction of intelligent sports venues through big data, the internet and other technologies, in order to improve the overall digitalization level of public fitness services.

In May, WeChat Pay launched pay-by-palm services and allowed commuters to pay for rides using their palms on the Daxing International Airport Line, making it the first metro line in the world to support such a payment method.

Latest data from the company showed that hundreds of thousands of users had used pay-by-palm services for subway rides by October.

Currently, WeChat's pay-by-palm service has been applied in areas including transportation, sports, campus, retailing, catering as well as shared charging.

For instance, customers can choose to pay via this service at more than 1,500 7-Eleven convenience stores in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

Su Xiaorui, a senior finance researcher at market consultancy Analysys, said that palm-based payments can greatly improve efficiency and reduce time and labor costs, especially in scenarios that require frequent payments, like catering and retailing.

The new method, however, faces challenges with respect to data security as it collects biometric data from users, which could lead to potential data leakage if used improperly, Su said.

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