WeChat Unveils New Device That Allows Customers to Pay with Their Face

Chinese multi-purpose messaging app WeChat introduced a new payment device on August 27 named the “Frog Pro” at the Chongqing Smart China Expo in an effort to upgrade its offline payments. The new point-of-sale (POS) machine allows customers to pay using facial recognition.

By rolling out a device equipped with more advanced facial recognition technology, users can enjoy an even more convenient method of paying for goods and services without using smartphones. According to Tencent, the developer of WeChat, the advanced facial recognition technology used will be safer, quicker and more convenient overall.

The Frog Pro features a 10.1-inch double-sided screen, a 3D depth-sensing camera for the facial recognition payment function and a QR code scanner.

The double-sided screen will facilitate pushing promotions, according to the company. The cashier can display the QR code of its official web account in WeChat or new product information on the screen.

China has been quick to embrace facial recognition technology, which is already being used for making payments in supermarkets and checking in at hotels. Payments made through facial recognition are becoming more prevalent as companies integrate online and offline retail as a way to drive marketing initiatives.

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Alipay, the Alibaba-backed WeChat nemesis, is already ahead of the game as it launched its facial recognition system “Smile to Pay” as early as 2017. But despite these efforts, WeChat Pay still leads the market with roughly 600 million users compared to Alipay’s 400 million. The Tencent-backed platform processes a billion transactions daily, connecting 50 million merchants and businesses in China.