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Alibaba introduces ‘Smile to Pay’ service in China

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The operator of in China is rolling out a futuristic system of paying at a fast-food counter via facial recognition, as the country embraces the technology for everything.

KFC introduces face-recognition payment system
According to Ant Financial representatives, KFC is the first retail store in the world to offer this feature to their customers

Diners at a KFC store in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou will be able to use a ‘Smile to Pay’ facial recognition system at the tech-heavy, health-focused concept store, part of a drive by Yum China Holdings Inc to lure a younger generation of consumers.

Ant Financial and KFC have teamed up to allow Alipay clients to pay for their meals just by having their appearances scanned, debuting Friday at KFC’s flagship KPro restaurant in Hangzhou.

The store’s menu offers seasonal produce, made-to-order salads and paninis. The chicken on the menu is “roasted”, while drinks include freshly squeezed juices, gourmet coffees and craft beer.

After using a touchscreen to place their orders, customers are given the option to authorize their online payment through the store computer’s facial recognition system. Provided that the customer has a working Alipay account with this feature enabled, the entire process takes mere seconds to complete once the customer’s photograph is taken and a partial phone number is keyed in for confirmation.

According to Ant Financial representatives, KFC is the first retail store in the world to offer this feature to their customers.