PBOC Calls for Stay on Facial Recognition Payments, More Non-contact Services During Coronavirus Outbreak


The Chinese central bank has called for domestic payments organisations to adopt a range of measures to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection during efforts to contain the disease.

On 24 February the Beijing municipal government officially issued the “Beijing Municipal Non-bank Payments Institution Work and Production Resumption Disease Prevention Work Guidelines” (北京市非银行支付机构复工复产防疫工作指引), that were drafted by the People’s Bank of China.

The Guidelines cover a range of measures for dealing with the coronavirus, including daily prevention measures, staff health monitoring and emergency handling measures, including:

  • Temporarily suspending the expansion of facial recognition payments, and strengthening risk warnings in relation to the use of facial recognition payments by customers;
  • Actively driving online operations, optimising and diversifying “non-contact” service channels and scenarios.
  • Encouraging payments organisations to strengthen mobile app service management and protection.
  • Encouraging customers to use electronic channels to handle payment and settlement operations.
  • Reducing the opportunities for close proximity contact with personnel.

PBOC has also called for payment institutions to provide daily reports on the overall health condition of staff to their local disease control authorities.

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