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Posted: September 01, 2017

KFC patrons in China can pay with just a smile

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk


Patrons in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou now have an easy way to pay for their meal at KFC.

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Simply smile.

Customers will be able to use a “Smile to Pay” facial recognition system at the store, Reuters reported. It is part of a drive by Yum China Holdings to attract a younger clientele.

Yum is still the largest fast food chain in the market, where it has more than 7,685 outlets, Reuters reported. Sales have been rising in part due to KFC’s strong showing during the second quarter of the year.

Joey Wat, Yum China’s president, said the store was aimed at “young, tech-savvy consumers who are keen to embrace new tastes and innovations.”

The Hangzhou store uses technology from Ant Financial, which is behind the facial recognition software. 

Diners can pay by scanning their faces at an ordering kiosk and entering a phone number -- which is meant to guard against people cheating the system, Reuters reported.

“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.


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