Hangzhou to have world’s first ‘cashless’ airport

By Xie Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2017/4/22 0:03:39

Hangzhou International Airport plans to become the world's first "cashless" airport by applying cutting-edge digital technologies to its services and will use AI to make security checks faster, Shanghai-based news portal thepaper.cn reported on Friday.

According to thepaper.cn's report, the airport will cooperate with Internet firms, such as Alipay, to allow travelers to make cashless payments for services including accommodation, flights and car rentals.

The airport will also work with service providers to combine cloud computing and big data so it can offer passengers door-to-door services including ticket bookings, transportation, smart parking, shopping and catering as well as hotel bookings.

The airport will also introduce artificial intelligence and image recognition technologies into security checks so as to increase the safety and efficiency of the process as well as reduce passenger wait times, according to the report.

Hangzhou resident Lu Xiaotian told the Global Times on Friday that she welcomes the airport experimenting with big data and cashless services.

She explained that with the spread of mobile payment, offering cashless services is unlikely to pose much of a challenge. She said that reducing wait times is likely to be the real test of the new technologies, adding that "the results remain to be seen."

She also added that if travel efficiency is significantly enhanced, the airport's experience can be shared with, and applied to, other airports across the whole country.

Established in 2000, the airport in the city's Xiaoshan district is the only civil airport in the capital of East China's Zhejiang Province.

Online payment already has a particularly high level of penetration in Hangzhou, which is home to tech giant Alibaba Group Holding, which pioneered China's most popular online payment tool, Alipay.

Separately, Alibaba's financial affiliate Ant Financial announced plans to spend 3 billion yuan ($435 million) each year for the next two years to create a cashless society in partnership with merchants and service providers, the Shanghai Daily reported on Wednesday.


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