This KFC brand store lets you pay for food with a smile

Pay with smiles at this KFC China store
Aleksandr Davydov/123RF.com
You won’t have to worry about having your wallet at this KFC store in Hangzhou, China. All you have to do is pay with a smile … literally. Yum China Holdings Inc, the biggest Chinese fast food chain, has created the “Smile to Pay” facial recognition system at a KFC restaurant located in Hangzhou called KPro. No cash, credit cards, or even smartphones are necessary.

Diners at this establishment will place their order at a kiosk which scans their face, analyzing more than 600 facial features. Once it matches with the image on the photo ID stored in its system, the customer then types in their phone number and just like that, the payment transaction goes through. This type of tech will certainly come in handy if you’re the type to always leave your wallet at home.

The system being used here is based on Alipay, which is a digital payment platform from Ant Financial. Alipay has more than 500 million users across the globe and it lets people to sign into its Chinese app by using facial recognition. Smile to Pay is just another step forward for China when it comes to facial recognition technology being used by businesses and government agencies. Ant Financial, who created the facial recognition software, also wants everyone to know that Smile to Pay is totally secure and safe to use.

“Combined with a 3D camera and liveness detection algorithm, Smile to Pay can effectively block spoofing attempts using other people’s photos or video recordings and ensure account safety,” Jidong Chen, Ant’s director of biometric identification technology, said in a statement.

According to Ant, the KPro in Hangzhou is the first physical store in the entire world that uses facial recognition software to process payments.

The store itself has a menu that offers seasonal produce, made-to-order salads as well as paninis. It serves “roasted” chicken, and drinks on offer include juices that are freshly squeezed, gourmet coffees, and even delicious craft beer.

The president of Yum China, Joey Wat, says that the store was created for “young, tech savvy consumers who are keen to embrace new tastes and innovations.”

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