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This article was published on September 4, 2017


KFC lets you pay for meals with your smile in China

KFC lets you pay for meals with your smile in China
Abhimanyu Ghoshal
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Abhimanyu Ghoshal

Managing Editor

Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].

If you find yourself at KFC’s new ‘KPRO‘ restaurant in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, you can pay for your healthy meal at the concept establishment simply by flashing your pearly whites at the self-service kiosk.

The system uses a 3D camera mounted at the top of a touchscreen kiosk where you place your order; enter your phone number there and let it snap a photo of you, and your meal is paid for through your Alipay account. That means you can leave your phone at home the next time you head out to grab dinner. Visit this page to watch a video of the kiosk in action.

This sort of innovation is interesting because it negates the need for a device to authenticate your identity, and ties your bank account even more closely to your phone number.

You’re right to be concerned about how secure that solution might be; Ant Financial, which has dreamed this up and implemented it in that lone KFC restaurant, says that the Smile to Pay tech is sophisticated enough to detect whether people are trying to spoof the camera with still photos or videos.

I can get behind this sort of payment tech. After all, I’m already in the habit of leaving my phone at home when I step out, albeit unintentionally. Having the option to authenticate payments with your face, card or your phone would make it easier to access services around town, and exit checkout lanes quicker.