Chinese KFC Lets Customers Pay By Smiling At A Screen

Image courtesy of Yum! China

You can use your face to check bags for a flight or board an airplane, and now at one KFC in China, you can pay for your food by smiling at a screen.

Yum! China — a spinoff of its U.S. parent — is introducing a facial recognition system called “Smile to Pay” at KPRO, its health-focused, millennial-baiting concept store.

Say cheese

Here’s how the Smile to Pay system works: Customers look at a screen and smile, and then enter their mobile phone number to verify their identity and process the payment.

“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,” said Jidong Chen, director of biometric identification technology for Ant Financial, the company behind the facial recognition tech.

The cool kids

The company’s desire to lure in younger customers is no secret: KPRO touts “other cutting-edge technology” throughout the restaurant to appeal to “tech savvy” patrons, including digital ordering kiosks, and a system that allows diners to scan QR codes and order at their tables.

Then there’s the push for healthier fare, something younger consumers are all about these days.

“Developed to cater to China’s burgeoning population of urban professionals, KPRO offers a creative, modern and seasonal menu with a wide range of dishes that are freshly made-to-order,” said Joey Wat, President and Chief Operating Officer of Yum China.

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