Briefing: Alipay expands facial recognition payment to Hong Kong

By Nicole Jao
1 min read

支付寶刷臉支付進軍香港機場免稅店 成中國境外首家 –

What happened: Chinese visitors can now use Alipay’s self-service facial recognition point of sale (POS) system known as Dragonfly to pay for goods at the duty-free shops in the Hong Kong International Airport. Twelve iPad-sized Dragonfly POS machines have been deployed at the airport. This is the first time Alipay has introduced the face-scanning device outside of mainland China.

Why it’s important: The move is one of the many that Alipay has made over the past year in a bid to increase its presence in neighboring Hong Kong. The payment service provider said in November that it will start supporting QR code payment at the city’s subway system as early as 2020. China is one of the countries that are quickly embracing facial recognition technology, which is being used for purchases as well as checking in at hotels and even verifying the identities of ride-hailing drivers. Alipay launched the “smile-to-pay” facial recognition system in September 2017 for commercial use and replaced it with the Dragonfly POS system in late 2018. Its self-developed facial recognition payment system has been deployed in more than 300 cities across China, according to the company.