China Launches First Facial Recognition Car Rental Service Using Blockchain Technology: Report
China is rolling out a new blockchain-based initiative to eliminate the tedious process of renting a car. Alibaba’s financial affiliate Alipay, a mobile and online payment platform, uses technology that allows drivers to complete the entire car rental process in two minutes by “swiping your face.”
The country’s first kiosk was rolled out in Kunming, China on Monday.
East Money reports that the upcoming Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) on January 25th is driving the demand for rent-a-car, self-driving tours. The unmanned kiosk, a collaboration between Alipay and Wukong Car Rental, allows consumers to drive off in their rental car after interacting with the machine.
The new model, coupled with Alipay’s face recognition payment system, reportedly completes the entire process without an attendant or manual car inspection. The consumer doesn’t need to carry any ID cards or credit cards. Instead, a face swipe triggers the transaction.
Consumers who have a Sesame credit score of 550 or more can even waive the deposit. The system also integrates blockchain capabilities to track the rental car process and prevent transaction disputes.
The kiosk, available at Kunming Changshui International Airport, allows consumers to use their mobile phones by first launching the Alipay app to place an order. Users are then prompted to “swipe their face” at the kiosk.
After confirming the order, a driver can select certain features for the car and unlock the car doors by using their smartphone.
The new procedure for car rentals will reportedly cover all of Yunnan Province, helping fulfill President Xi’s goal of becoming the world leader in blockchain technology.
Similar biometric solutions have been introduced in the US, but without blockchain capabilities that allow both parties to track transactions securely on an immutable ledger.
In 2018, Hertz announced its Fast Lane platform to speed customers through the car rental process in 30 seconds or less using fingerprint and face recognition kiosks at airports around the US, with the first unit installed at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The service is available for Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program members and CLEAR program travelers.
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