Alipay Dragonfly F1 PoS Enables Payments with Face Recognition

We’re being told the traditional way of paying for purchases – cash – is going away, so we’ll soon have to rely exclusively on electronics payment means such as debit cards, credit cards, contactless stored value smart cards, smartphones, our own face, etc… Wait? I could pay by just showing up my face? Apparently yes, as Alipay recently installed 12 Dragonfly POS (Point-of-Sales) devices with biometric technology at Hong Kong airport.

The systems started operating at the airport on April 2nd, but similar devices were allegedly deployed in more than 300 cities in mainland China previously.

Alipay Dragonfly F1

I’m not entirely sure of the exact model operating at Hong Kong airport, but a quick web search reveals Alipay Dragonfly F1 matches the description.

Hardware specifications:

  • Processor – Quad-core Arm Cortex A53 processor @ 1.3GHz
  • System Memory – 2GB RAM
  • Storage – 8GB FLASH
  • Display – 10.1″ TFT touch screen display with 1280×800 resolution
  • Camera – 3D Depth Sensing Camera with two fill lights
  • Connectivity – WiFi and Bluetooth, 1x SIM card slot with optional LTE connectivity
  • Audio – Digital Audio Speaker, Microphone
  • USB – 2x USB port
  • Misc – Reset key
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A
  • Dimensions – Screen size – 275(L)x154(W)x34(H); Overall size: 260(L)x170(W)x(480-635)(H)

So it’s basically a customized 10.1″ Android 7.1 tablet, and based on the description, I believe the processor should be MediaTek MT6735 or one of its siblings.

All you have to do is to input your phone number, face the camera, and tap on “OK” to complete the payment. Some of the advantages are that there’s no card to lose or get stolen, and it looks fairly easy to use. The latter may be a drawback for impulse buyers though… Another drawback is that all your purchases can be tracked, but that’s true for all electronics payment systems.

Telpo appears to make the hardware for Alipay, which in turn takes care of the software and payment infrastructure.

Alipay Facial Recognition Payment System

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3 Replies to “Alipay Dragonfly F1 PoS Enables Payments with Face Recognition”

    1. I guess it’s the equivalent of the paper signature. Writing your phone number means you really meant to make the purchase. More importantly it also avoids charging the wrong person.

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