Forty-one self-service terminals with Alipay's face recognition technology were put into use Thursday at the Jiangxi Provincial People's Hospital, China's first hospital to offer facial recognition services to patients for medical bill payment, according to Alipay.
First-time users must enter their ID number to create a profile, which will be kept on file on the terminals, said Sun Guofeng, director of Alipay's medical business. After the profile is created, the machine will be able to recognize users.
Once users choose to apply for registration or pay bills, the face recognition process starts. After the user is recognized, phone numbers bound with Alipay are needed to complete the process.
"The whole process takes no longer than 10 seconds," said Sun. "There is no need to pull out cards or phones since you can complete payment on the machines with one hand."
New technology is making it more convenient for people to see a doctor, said Huo Yanan, vice president of Jiangxi Provincial People's Hospital, adding that Alipay's face recognition service will further facilitate payment for patients.
According to Sun, Alipay's facial recognition uses 3D technology to ensure more accurate identity verification compared to the popular 2D service.