最近,面部识别付款(FRP,或Scan the face to pay,刷脸支付)在中国的流行度成为物理商店的新型数字付款方式。


这种无钱包的现实很大程度上是由于QR代码扫描: people scan the QR code of a shop and pay the amount of the order on their phones. Facial recognition takes this process a step further — you don’t even need your phone, just your face.


Let’s look at the example of a bakery called WeiDuoMei. A specialized touchscreen device is placed at the checkout counter of the bakery. It’s similar in size to an iPad Mini. Produced by either Ali or Tencent (which are the two companies that monopolize the mobile-payment market in China), the device has access to the facial-information database of the parent company. So, if Tencent has your picture, you will be in its facial-information database, and the machine will be able to find you.

The cashier enters the amount of money for the order, which is then shown on the device screen. A user just needs 10 seconds and two taps to finish the payment:

  1. 用户水龙头Pay with Face Recognition在设备的屏幕上。该设备扫描面部并识别用户。
  2. The user then tapsConfirm Payment并完成了。


At first glance, facial recognition payment might seem very similar to the process of using Apple Pay on an iPhone: the newer iPhones (iPhone X and newer) use “Face ID” to check identity and approve payment. However, the key difference here is the reliance on a device. To use Apple Pay via Face ID, users must own a late-model iPhone, must have it with them, and have it at least partially charged. To use FRP in China, users only need to have a validated微信或者阿里支付账户和相关的银行账户,不管他们有什么类型的手机(或者如果他们有电话)。





Software Requirements

Time Cost

Apple Pay或Android Pay

A phone that supports facial recognition

Apple Pay中的信用卡/借记卡预设

Within 15s



An Ali Pay/WeChat account and an associated bank account


Facial recognition

None (well, a face)

An Ali Pay/WeChat account and an associated bank account

10 – 15s

(For frequent users, it could be less than 10 seconds)


Software Requirements

Time Cost

Apple / Android Pay

A phone that supports facial recognition

Apple Pay中的信用卡/借记卡预设

Within 15s



An Ali Pay/WeChat account and an associated bank account



None (well, a face)

An Ali Pay/WeChat account and an associated bank account

10 – 15s

(For frequent users, it could be less than 10 seconds)

这种新方法已在中国的许多物理店采用:服装店,杂货店,自动售货机和地铁站检查站。它似乎很酷,方便,因为它可以减少结账时间和拉出手机的麻烦。但是,用户如何查看这种新的付款方式?新用户如何学习技术如何运作?真的是人to pay with their faces? We conducted a study to find out.


In Beijing, we conducted a study involving both interview and observation sessions. The study had 5 participants between the ages of 18 and 42; three were female and two were male. Two participants had used the facial-recognition payment technology before, but three were first-time users.

We interviewed each participant for 5–10 minutes before the session. We asked questions on payment habits for both online and offline shopping and FRP experiences (if any). We also asked them to draw and describe theirmental modelsof the FRP technology and how it might work.




下图显示了首次用户需要通过FRP技术来进行第一次用户的过程。收银员进入客户需要支付金额后,将提示客户在专业设备之前站立。当。。。的时候Pay with Face Recognition屏幕上的按钮被删除,客户的脸部被捕获并用于检索相关的ALI支付帐户。然后,用户必须在ALI支付帐户中列出的电话号码以验证身份。确认身份后,用户抽头Confirm Payment

It takes four steps for users to finish the payment with FRP: Start page, Face capture, Validation and confirmation, and Finish payment.
It takes four steps for users to finish the payment with FRP: Start page, Face capture, Validation and confirmation, and Finish payment.

听起来很方便,对吗?但实际上,4 out of 5 participants we interviewed still preferred QR-code scanning,即使在他们经历了这种新的、快速的支付方式之后。为什么?除此之外users often hate change,最大的问题是船上体验(或缺乏)没有让他们感到安全。

糟糕的onboard =没有信任

任何与财务有关的事情通常都被认为是私人的,需要高度的安全性:人们不想拿自己的钱冒险。虽然面部识别支付速度很快,但第一次使用的用户的入职体验很差,因此,他们产生了怀疑,不信任这项技术,并表示不想再使用这项技术。基本上,我们目睹了halo effect-他们的第一次互动令人不安,因此他们对整个技术持负面看法。

错误#1:Ali Pay没有要求首次用户同意

Upon tapping the应付面部识别按钮,立即弹出面部捕获屏幕。一些参与者困惑。

一个33岁的女性说:“这让我觉得ALI Pay App允许您在没有任何同意的情况下进行此[FRP]。我首先应该授权这个FRP服务。“


Actually, Ali Pay did ask for consent, in a way. The company had updated its user agreement and notified users of the update on their next login.

None of our participants in our study even realized the existence of such a notification. This isn’t surprising — it’s a common joke that nobody reads privacy policies.在长期以来的正式文件的结束时,将法律的条款添加到长期内,不可接受的方式通知用户重大变化。

Mistake #2: Ali Pay Didn’t Explain How The Face Was Recognized

When setting up Face ID on an iPhone, first-time users are asked to record their face as they move their head side-to-side, to capture different angles. This simple onboarding process makes sense to users — they know that the iPhone can recognize their faces, because they trained it to do so.

The Ali Pay FRP doesn’t have any such “training” step. Instead, it uses the government-ID data that users put in when they registered their Ali Pay account. (This identity information, similar to a driver’s license number, is required for most online-payment services in China. It also includes a photo of the user.)

However, most of our participants had registered their Ali Pay accounts a long time ago and didn’t remember that Ali Pay had their identity and photo. So, they developed虚假的心理模型对于技术。他们认为,当他们第一次使用FRP时,这是一个注册过程,而不是识别过程。In other words, they thought that, when their picture was taken by the device, the software created a link on the spot between that face and the account indexed by the phone number.

错误#2:Ali Pay没有告诉用户应用程序如何识别他们的脸。参与者错误地认为,当他们第一次使用FRP并拍摄他们的照片时,系统了解它们的样子和关联的信息与匹配他们的电话号码的帐户,所以他们担心其他人可以使用他们的电话号码注册和偷取他们的钱。

This is a potentially disastrous misunderstanding. The含义of this misunderstanding is that, if a user hasn’t yet used FRP,anyonewith that user’s phone number could go buy something and associate her own face with the account linked to that phone number.(再次强调:技术不是这样的实际上有效,但参与者就是这样解释这个过程。信仰超标事实,推动意见。)

The participants asked questions like, “How does it know who I am? What if you used my phone number [to register]?” They were so worried about the account security that researchers had to debrief for a while after the study to explain that their accounts were not at risk. (This step should have been done by Ali Pay!)

Mistake #3: Ali Pay Didn’t Allow Users to Choose the Account Used for Paying

After first-time users provided their phone numbers, they were asked toConfirm Payment。但Ali Pay用户可以将多个卡添加到一个帐户,所以第一次使用首次用户不知道将收取哪些卡片。

A 33-year-old participant was mad when he found out that the money was taken off via Ant Credit Pay, a product of Ali Pay that he didn’t like and did not want to use anymore.


For both first-time and returning users, they couldn't choose from other credit cards.
Mistake #3: Users couldn’t choose from alternative cards or bank accounts.


However, users should be able to choose their own default payment method — at least when they use the technology for the first time. They should not be forced to use Ali Pay’s financial products. Since they can easily choose from a list of payment methods while paying by scanning QR codes, why can’t FRP also allow for it? Alternatively, people should at least be told what the default account is and how they could change it (if at all)before they pay


阿里移动支付应用程序要求用户输入一个password in order to pay. People can disable the password if they want to, but by default they will have to enter it (in much the same way people in the US have to enter a password or have their face recognized before they use Apple Pay, for example). As a consequence, users were conditioned to enter a password when using Ali Pay. When Ali Pay FRP didn’t ask for the payment password, people were confused and suspicious.


The absence of the password made him nervous. He added, “No passwords, no security!”


面部识别可能是如此可靠和安全,即ALI Pay决定不需要添加密码的额外保护(和额外的步骤)。但是,虽然Ali Pay可能对技术的安全性以及对其运作方式的良好理解,新用户没有。They need to be convinced.


ALI支付FRP的问题主要源于a failure to help users understand the new technology(at least on a basic level) and adjust to it. This is a growing challenge for UX. We’re beginning to design interfaces and experiences around advanced new technologies (facial recognition, AI systems, VR, AR, autonomous vehicles, etc.). As we’ve seen in this example (and in many others, in domains such ascloud computing,intelligent assistants,和machine learning),太简单了create false mental models and distrust

The key to avoiding these problems is a little extra handholding —carefully introducing the technology in a simple way,这样用户就可以理解它并感觉到它在控制中。而入职流程可能not be necessary for simple mobile app interactions, they’re needed for new technologies.

软件早期的设计师面临着类似的问题。大多数人没有先前接触数字接口,所以设计人员必须弄清楚如何使它们能够实现。这项挑战的一个解决方案是使用直接操纵and heavilysinterfaces (for example, UI tabs that resembled physical tabs on file folders) to help users have a rough understanding of how things worked. Over time, as a larger proportion of the population gained experience and confidence, those hand-holding designs could be toned down, because users understood how the products worked.


解决# 1:要求同意

If you want to take a picture of someone you never met before, it’s polite to ask for permission first. It’s creepy if you don’t. The same is true for a digital product.


WeChat Pay的FRP要求用户第一次使用它时授权此新服务。弹出窗口读取,Enable facial recognition payment of WeChat. Face is your unique feature. This payment method is safe and convenient.还提供了与完整版协议的链接。

While the additional step of consent may not be legally necessary and might slow down the first checkout by a few seconds, it would’ve been worth slowing down to increase users’sense of control


在引入新技术时,我们必须为用户提供足够的信息。这可能很棘手 - 我们必须提供足够的信息让他们感到舒适,但不是那么多信息,你需要计算机科学学位来理解它。

In this case, it would have been simple enough to tell people how Ali Pay recognized their faces. Designers don’t need to get into all of the details of how exactly the facial-recognition process works, but they should at least clearly state that Ali Pay uses the customer’s ID photo.

修复2  - 添加步骤 Fix 2 - Step 2

Some users also raised privacy and security concerns. For example, two users wondered, “Where would it store my facial information? Who would have access to that? How long would my face be stored in this machine [for confirmation]?” They had no idea where to find the answer, either.

These questions could likely not be answered all at once during the first-time usage, and the local cashier may not be able to help. But these in-depth questions could be addressed on其他渠道

One user tried to check her phone after she used the service. She said:

“我觉得这是我第一次使用它[FRP]。应该有一个通知[来自Ali Pay App]告诉我我第一次使用的通知,要求我验证信息,或让我了解更多信息。“

为帮助用户了解FRP技术的工作原理,ALI Pay可以向刚刚使用它的用户发送推送通知。用户可以了解有关其如何工作的详细信息。

The JD unmanned store in Beijing used a different approach to help users register their face for FRP. Outside the door of the store, users were prompted to scan a QR-code and use a微信mini programto record their faces and choose payment methods.

人们could, thus, take the time to learn what data the product was gathering and how. This is an elegant way of providing details without slowing the actual checkout process down. Users could also manage the FRP settings on the phone: they were allowed to choose from more payment options.

FP.in JD unmanned stores invited users to go through the registration process on their smartphones. They learned that this payment method would record their faces and could choose their preferred payment method.

Fix #3: Allow Customization and Compromise When Challenging Existing Mental Models

For any new technology, if it challenges or violates users’ existing mental model, it’s better to allow some customization or compromise at first, to habituate people with it gradually.

在ALI支付FRP的情况下,有些用户拥有心理模型“没有密码=没有安全性”。因此,允许密码作为额外的保护层可能是一个妥协。再次,Ali Pay的设计人员可能知道安全的角度没有必要,但如果它让人们更舒适,因为他们热身到新技术,有什么危害?


实际上,阿里支付和微信支付两者都在推广QR代码支付时使用这种策略,并且用户认为这不够安全。虽然用户可以选择每次按QR码付费时输入密码,但它们也可以启用调用的功能少量没有密码。This service allowed users to pay without passwords when the order amount was below a user-set threshold (ranging between 200 and 5000 yuan). As they became more comfortable with QR-code scanning, more users enabled this feature, to increase efficiency.

Fix #4: An Informative and Clear Layout



对于频繁的用户,虽然设备显示了他们的名称,面部和帐户信息,但关键信息 - 他们付出了多少钱 - 缺失。因此,我们研究中的两个用户群体都没有意识到攻丝Confirm Payment是这个过程的最后一步。

The confirmation page should provide adequate information in a clear way. As the key page of the flow, it should summarize the payment information, include facial and account information of the user, amount of the order, and the payment method. A better design is shown below (on the right).

Fix 4

如果新和当前产品有类似或相同的用户流量,将它们对齐以创建内部一致性。This approach can help users to feel in control of the interaction.


Ali Pay mobile app: The confirmation page for an online transfer includes the payment amount, item (memo), and payment method. Users are familiar with the layout and assume that the final step of any payment should involve these components.

Using Facial Recognition to Speed Up Interaction — Good or Bad?

Nowadays, many products with advanced technology aim to provide convenient services, which speed up the interaction and increase efficiency. In this case, Ali Pay used facial-recognition devices to speed up in-store payment.


Offering an informative but not overwhelming onboarding experience for first-time users can reduce concerns and prevent false mental models.少即是多“并不总是适用:你不应该为了方便而牺牲入职Once the majority of your population is familiar with the process, then you can think about streamlining it.

A longer but more informative first-time user experience can boost users’ confidence and invite them to try the new product again. Then that’s the time to show off your product’s advantages — in this case, the increased checkout efficiency.