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Sep 21, 2018,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

China: Travellers use facial recognition to check in and pay at hotels

After winning over the air industry in recent years, facial recognition technology has now made an appearance in the hotel industry. Thanks to an innovative solution developed by Chinese firms Shiji and Fliggy, it now only takes 30 seconds to check in and pay for a hotel room. 


Chinese companies Shiji and Fliggy, a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group, have recently developed a check-in and payment system based on facial recognition that is specially designed for hotels. Shiji, a specialist hotel technology provider, is in charge of installing the system (software) and payment terminals (hardware), while Fliggy provide the traveller information.

This innovative solution has already been rolled out to 50 establishments in the province of Hainan, reports website Tom Travel. “Our aim with this project has been to find ways for hotels to increase guest satisfaction by reducing wait times as much as possible,” explains Kevin King, chief of operations for the Shiji Group. “Working with Fliggy and our partner hotels have made this a success and we're monitoring privacy and efficiency closely to develop ways to increase this across more hotels." 


Just 30 seconds to check in and pay 


When you book a hotel room through Fliggy, your information is processed by Shiji then sent to the hotel. When you arrive, you just have to scan your proof of identity at the terminal. Once your identity has been checked, you will be sent a credit authorisation and a key card will be activated for your room.  

Only 30 seconds elapse between the moment you arrive and the time your key card is activated, compared with the several minutes it takes to go through the traditional procedure.


Available soon in hotels worldwide?


Even though Shiji and Fliggy’s facial recognition terminals were originally designed to protect traveller information and optimise efficiency in the hotels in which they have been installed, the system could be adapted to a number of reservation platforms.  

Over the long term, the two Chinese companies hope to roll out their solution to hotels all over the world. The system saves travellers time and means that hotel staff have more time to respond to their guests’ requests.


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