Palm payment used in Beijing subway station


After QR code, facial recognition, and fingerprint payment, China has added another mobile payment method - palm payment.

In May this year, WeChat launched the palm payment service in Beijing Daxing Subway Line and Shenzhen University campus canteen. Users only need to wave their hand over the gate machine to enter and exit the subway station and complete the payment, which is very convenient and fast.


 Contactless way to use palm to pay 

On May 24, 2023, in Beijing Daxing Airport Subway Line, passengers input their palm prints at the self-service ticket machines. (Image Source: VCG)

As described, palm payment requires binding a personal WeChat account on the mobile phone and inputting the palm print. When making a payment, align your palm with the scanning area of the payment device.

For instance, passengers who open the palm-payment riding service on the Beijing Daxing Airport Line can use their palms for access and ride on this subway line.

Before entering the station, passengers need to find the palm gate machine marked with a circular logo, face the palm to the identification area inside the circle, after identification, the circle turns green, and the gate will automatically open.

When exiting the station, passengers swipe their palm print again, and the fare is automatically deducted from WeChat payment.

On May 21, 2023, at the entrance of Beijing Daxing Airport Subway Station, passengers passed through the subway ticket gate by palm payment. (Image Source: VCG)

WeChat stated that passengers can enter and exit the station with a wave of their hand. Even in special circumstances such as forgetting to bring a physical card or running out of phone battery, they can still ride the subway. Moreover, palm swiping for access is a form of contactless access, which is sanitary and safe.

As for the "Campus Palm Pass" service launched on the Shenzhen University campus, students can choose to shop and dine by swiping their palm.

When students line up for meals in the cafeteria, they need to just scan their palm, and the payment can be completed within 1-2 seconds. Palm payment can improve the efficiency of the restaurant and shorten the queuing time for students.

WeChat launched palm payment service on Shenzhen University campus. (Web Image)

Read more: Mobile payment covers all aspects of life in Shenzhen 

Palm payment technology has been tested millions of times

How is palm payment realized?

It is reported that WeChat's palm payment uses the "palm print + palm vein" AI recognition technology independently developed by Tencent YouTu Lab. The wide-angle optical camera recognizes the palm print features, the infrared camera recognizes the distribution of palm veins, and the payment can be completed only after dual-factor verification is successful.

WeChat stated that the technology for palm payment is quite sophisticated.

First, it needs to solve the problem of various lighting conditions, as different light conditions can make identification difficult.

Secondly, it needs to account for physiological differences among people. Some have calluses on their palms, some have darker or lighter skin, and different people will have different habits and speeds of sweeping their hand.

WeChat palm payment make payments quickly and easily. (Image Source: WeChat Public Class @ WeChat Official Account)

Before the launch of the palm payment product, the lab has been conducting over ten million real-world application tests within Tencent's internal doors, cafeterias, retail, and other scenarios for 3 years to ensure the high availability and high security of palm payment.

Now, WeChat's palm payment can adapt to different environmental light conditions, handle different physiological differences of young and old palm prints, and quickly identify different user's hand stretching habits.

Read more: How did Zhang Xiaolong establish WeChat?

Palm Payment offers high security and accuracy

Students use palm payment to purchase goods at Shenzhen University. (Image Source: Shenzhen Press)

Compared with face recognition payment, palm payment has greater security and accuracy. For example, twins can "fool" face scanning machines, but they cannot escape palm scanning machines.

Unlike fingerprint recognition, which scans the ridges on fingertips, palm print scans the vascular patterns in palms, which can avoid being exposed and counterfeited.

In application scenarios, palm recognition can be used for daily shopping payments, company punch cards, access control identification, public transportation card swipes and a host of other situations.

In addition to WeChat, another mobile payment giant in China, Alipay, is reportedly developing a palm payment feature, and has been granted an palm identification device appearance patent.

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