KFC store in China lets customers pay with a smile

Alipay Launches 'Smile to Pay' for Commercial Use in China

Ant Financial and KFC have teamed up to allow Alipay clients to pay for their meals just by having their appearances scanned, debuting Friday at KFC's flagship KPro restaurant in Hangzhou.

The technology, first demoed by Alibaba chairman Jack Ma in 2015, is now only in a single KFC KPRO healthy-eating restaurant but more deployments are set to follow. So confident is Alipay of the system's security, the company will offer loss coverage in case a Smile to Pay account is compromised.

The company showed off this technology at IFA in Germany two years ago alongside the option to pay with a selfie.

Speaking about this new Payment Service, Jidong Chen, Ant's director of biometric identification technology said, "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".

Even though it looks silly, this new form of payment is actually something Alibaba has been working on for many years.

"We are excited to partner with Alipay to bring the world's first commercial application of the facial recognition payment solution to our customers". Now this payment method is being tested at a KFC outlet in the city.

Using this service is quite simple, all you have to do is go to the Payment Kiosk and stand in front of it.

The restaurant serves a wide variety of healthy items on the menu, including freshly-squeezed juices, paninis filled with proteins like grilled chicken, smoked salmon or shrimp, craft beer, gourmet coffees and low-fat ice cream.

Facial recognition may be the future of digital payments.

The payment system will work by having payment authenticated through a combination of facial scanning along with an input of the payer's mobile phone number.

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