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KFC uses facial recognition to let customers pay with a smile

12 September 2017

Visitors to a KFC store in the Chinese city of Hangzhou are now able to pay for their meals with a smile using facial recognition software. The 'Smile to Pay' concept is part of a drive by Yum China to lure younger customers to the fried chicken outlet. Diners can pay by scanning their faces at an ordering kiosk and entering a phone number, a security safeguard against people abusing the system.

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."

Ant Financial is behind the facial recognition software. Alibaba Group has said this is the first commercial application of the technology worldwide.

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."

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