FB pixel

China’s guidelines for facial recognition payments stress biometric data protection

China’s guidelines for facial recognition payments stress biometric data protection

The Payment & Clearing Association of China has introduced its first guidelines for facial recognition payments, addressing user consent and biometric data collection and storage, writes Caixin Global.

Biometric payment terminals are gaining popularity in emerging markets such as India and China, with global transaction values estimated at $254 million in 2024, compared to just $84 million in 2019.

According to the new rules, companies need to encrypt facial image data and stored it separately from details such as bank numbers and other personal information. Merchants and other companies receiving the transaction are not allowed to retain facial image information.

Financial institutions in the country should enter agreements with merchants to prevent intermediaries from retaining biometric facial images, they should give consumers the option to choose or decline facial recognition-enabled payments and they must clearly explain the service agreement, explains Wang Xinyue, a senior partner at Beijing law firm Anli Partners.

However, verification should not be solely based on facial prints, the guidelines state. Depending on risk, multi-factor authentication should be introduced for extra security. Should institutions fail to properly verify identification, they need to have a compensation mechanism, and budget for risk plans, insurance and emergencies.

Facial recognition payments in China are even accepted by street vendors, but the technology is still not regulated under the law. Wang believes self-regulation is a great option for the time being, because an industry agreement can help further innovation and prevent risk.

Chinese companies Tencent and Alibaba Group were the first to introduce facial recognition payments, currently monopolizing China’s third-party mobile payment market.

Caixin sources say Tencent and government-owned China UnionPay have partnered on a facial recognition payment project.

International interest in data retention policies is growing. Last year, Northern Ireland police published a formal public policy on biometric data retention as part of a settlement agreement for a court case brought by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC).

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


NIST issues guidance to fit passkeys into digital identity recommendations

The U.S. National Institute and Standards Institute has published a supplement to its digital identity guidelines as interim advice for…


US oversight body calls for more real-world biometrics testing, bias protections

A federal U.S. agency wants more testing of biometrics applications in the real world, stronger protections against bias and more…


UK researchers extract drug residue from gel-lifted fingerprint biometrics

A new breakthrough in a familiar technology could help researchers use fingerprint biometrics to solve cold cases. A press release…


Fujitsu scolded for identity error in Japan’s My Number system

Japan’s My Number personal ID system is planning to allow digital identity documents as valid proof of identity when obtaining…


ID platform delivered by WISeKey facilitates digital govt services in Seychelles

A digital identity platform dubbed SeyID has been successfully delivered for the government of Seychelles by WISeKey and is already…


Vietnam set to issue digital IDs for service access, plans to include foreigners

Vietnam is set to issue digital ID cards for people to use in interactions with public agencies, complementing the VNeID…


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read From This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events