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Subway riders in China can now use their face to pay for their tickets

🎶 I’ve got a ticket to riiiideeee… 🎶

people getting off a subway car in china with face recognition
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Okay, we hear a lot about the potential harm in facial recognition tech, so how about some good news?

According to the South China Morning Post, the cyberpunk city of Shenzhen has installed facial recognition to let senior citizens ride free, with their face as the ticket. That’s pretty sci-fi.

The subway in Shenzhen lets you use your face as a ticket

China seems to be all-in with turning its citizens’ faces into a payment method. Screw contactless payments like Google Pay or Apple Pay, just smile for the camera.

Everything from verifying loan applicants to buying goods from special kiosks can be done just by scanning your face, so why not the Metro system? That’s got to save time when you have some of the most crowded metro systems in the world.

  • The facial recognition system was created by a partnership between the subway and Tencent
  • It’ll be extended to allow military veterans and other groups to ride for free
  • At present, 18 stations with 28 automatic gate machines and 60 self-service ticket processors are part of the facial recognition system
  • Other cities such as Jinan, Shanghai, Qingdao, Nanjing, and Nanning are also trialing the system

Asia has long embraced biometric identification, with banks and other institutions using thumbprints as verification for transactions. In fact, a recent study by China’s Payment and Clearing Association mentions that 85 percent of consumers were comfortable with using their biometrics as a payment method. I guess it’s safer than a signature, right?

What do you think? Are you worried about facial recognition tech? Would you use your face to pay for things? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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