Now you can pay with Swipe of your hand


Tencent, a major tech company based in Shenzhen, China, has introduced a Biometric palm scanning service that enables users to perform various actions, like making payments or accessing public transport, without the need for physical items like keys, wallets, or phones. This technology, although not new and previously explored by companies like Amazon, is being pushed into the mainstream by Tencent, as stated by Guo Rizen, a high-ranking executive at the company.

Tencent, known for owning WeChat, a multifunctional platform widely used in China. It has implemented this Biometric palm scanning system, named Weixin Palm Payment, exclusively within mainland China for users of Weixin Pay, WeChat’s sister app. This system works by using infrared cameras to analyze unique palm prints and vein patterns. Which allows for quick user identification and payment processing.

The biometric payments market is expected to grow significantly, with companies like JPMorgan also exploring similar technologies. Tencent’s system, which boasts greater accuracy than facial recognition due to the uniqueness of palm prints and veins. This also represents an evolution of existing Japanese systems used for office building access. Which has the added benefit of being contactless—a crucial feature in the post-pandemic world.

Tencent is not alone in this field. Amazon launched a similar service in 2020, and Fujitsu has been offering a palm-based system for cybersecurity purposes. However, Tencent aims to integrate its technology more extensively into daily life. And making tasks more convenient and reducing the need to carry physical items.

Despite its growing usage in various settings like corporate canteens and 7-Eleven stores in Guangdong, or for gym check-ins at Super monkey. The technology is still in its early stages, with its widespread adoption dependent on market demand and feedback. Although Tencent has not committed to international expansion. But experts like Edward Santow from the University of Technology Sydney have raised concerns about privacy and security. They highlight risks such as surveillance and data theft. Despite these concerns, Tencent assures that it securely encrypts user data and stores it on the cloud.

Users have the option to opt into the service and set their own spending limits. Guo argues that carrying physical objects poses more risk than their digital counterparts, anticipating a future where such items might become unnecessary. Kate Xue, a user of the service at a Super monkey gym, expresses a level of acceptance towards the potential risks of data misuse. And seeing it as an inevitable aspect of technological advancement.


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