Alipay Enables Naked Payments at Upscale New KFC Restaurant

Alipay’s facial recognition payment system, Smile to Pay, is seeing its first extension beyond the smartphone in a new restaurant in Hangzhou, China.

Alipay Enables Naked Payments at Upscale New KFC Restaurant

A customer paying using Alipay’s new “Smile to Pay” facial recognition payment solution in KPRO, Hangzhou (PRNewsfoto/Yum China Holdings, Inc)

Called KPRO by KFC, it’s a kind of technologically advanced, upscale version of one of the fast food chain’s restaurants. An open kitchen serving freshly squeezed fruit juice and panini is complemented by large, phone-shaped kiosks that let customers place their orders digitally. The same kiosks are also outfitted with facial recognition technology linked to Alipay’s digital payment system, enabling naked payments for customers who don’t have their wallets or even their phones handy.

It’s a dramatic extension of Alipay’s facial recognition authentication system. Smile to Pay has been verifying Alipay transactions on iOS and Android mobile devices for quite some time now, but has hitherto not been extended into non-mobile applications, with KPRO by KFC pointing to further expansion as an intuitive and convenient payments system in China, where Alipay is a popular method of payment.

For KFC, meanwhile, KPRO is the latest example of the brand’s experimentation with biometric technology in China, arriving after a KFC location in Beijing introduced a face biometrics system at the start of this year designed to provide customers with personalized menu recommendations based on their demographics.

September 1, 2017 – by Alex Perala