China: KFC Adds Smiling As Payment Option

There are plenty of payment options in restaurants and stores around the world but one KFC in China may have one of the coolest yet. In this fast food restaurant, all customers have to do is sit in front of a machine for a few seconds and smile to make the payment.

The new payment option was launched by Alipay and is pretty simple, all customers have to do is smile. The facial recognition system is only available at one KFC in Hangzhou, China but it could arrive to more in the future.

The company working on this payment option, Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba, says the technology needs only one to two seconds of facial scanning to check the identity of the person trying to make the payment. The customers are also required to enter their phone numbers during the process.

The technology is not exactly new since the founder of Alibaba had already unveiled a beta version two years ago but it could make the restaurant a very popular place for those who want to try this technology.


The head of the company behind the technology says it was not easy. The company had to work on many things, including on ways people might try to trick the technology when making a payment. The company says the machine can detect those trying to use photos or videos to trick the system. It can also detect shadows and identify a person even if they are wearing makeup.

The technology is only available in one KFC but it won’t be just a cool addition to the fast food restaurant. It will also help reduce long lines during the busiest times and make payments a lot easier.

What do you think about this new payment option? Let us know in the comments.


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