Retail in Asia

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Shinsegae Duty Free adds WeChat Pay facial recognition payments

WeChat Pay facial recognition payments

Shinsegae Duty Free has added WeChat Pay facial recognition payments for the first time outside Greater China in some of its stores enabling Chinese customers to pay without cash, card, or a mobile phone.

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DFS recently added the service in the Special Administrative Region of Macau.

Given Shinsegae’s large Chinese customer base the move makes sense. WeChat is a very well established Chinese messenger service with 1.1 billion users. Facial recognition payments are popular in China and used in many sectors such as retail stores, medical services, and hotels.

Since 29 October, Shinsegae has added facial recognition payments at approximately 40 locations including major stores such as Shinsegae Myeong-dong and at Incheon International Airport. A gradual roll-out is expected thereafter.

Shinsegae Duty Free said: “By providing this advanced payment service through the collaboration with WeChat Pay, it is expected that shopping convenience for Chinese customers will be maximised.”

“This system allows payments without cards and mobile phones and is not only convenient but will also give customers a better experience by reducing waiting time with quick payment and transaction approval,” continued Shinsegae Duty Free.

To encourage use, the travel retailer is running a promotion offering random discounts of up to CNY88 (US12.50) for customers paying with WeChat Pay’s facial recognition system.

WeChat Pay facial recognition payments can be made by any Chinese shopper who has completed user authentication within the WeChat application. All payments are completed within 10 seconds by standing still and looking into the facial recognition sensor which is claimed to have 99.99% accuracy.

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Shinsegae Duty Free recently stepped up its service provision to Chinese tourists by opening a ‘membership club’ WeChat mini-app in August for the first time in the Korean duty free industry.