Alipay trials ‘Smile to Pay’ at KFC China

In what it claims to be a world first, Alipay is piloting facial recognition technology to authorise digital payments at a KFC restaurant in the Chinese city of Huangzhou.

The ‘Smile to Pay’ application uses a 3D camera to identify a customer’s face after just a couple of seconds. There is also the option of a secondary verification requirement, which would see users enter their mobile phone number. Alipay said that the technology is fully secure, and users will have the option to opt in or out at any time.

Jidong Chen, director of biometric identification technology at Alipay owners Ant Financial, commented: “While Smile to Pay provides convenience for users like never before, we have always placed security at the core of this technology.

“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.”

KFC is the latest fast food restaurant chain to experiment with emerging technologies. Last week, Burger King in Russia unveiled a new loyalty programme called Whoppercoin based on blockchain technology, while McDonald’s has been trialling a mobile ordering and payments service in the US.

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