China is streets ahead when it comes to digital payments. The latest leap is facial recognition technology that allows a customer to pay by literally flashing a smile.
Alibaba’s Ant Financial affiliate launched the ‘smile to pay’ service in Hangzhou, the location of the company’s global HQ, where it is being trialled with KFC.
As the video from Ant below shows, the payment process doesn’t require a smartphone, assuming that the customer has already signed up for the Alipay app and enabled facial recognition. A 3D camera located at the point-of-sale scans the customer’s face to verify their identity, while there is a phone number verification option for additional security.
The technology is available to customers registered to the Alipay app – the mobile and online payment platform established in Hangzhou by Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma.
KFC was targeted for the debut as it is a subsidiary of Yum China, one of Alibaba’s major investments.