Making Science

KFC store in China lets customers pay with a smile

Tyrone Stewart

KFC Smile to PayDiners eating at a KFC branch in China will now be able to pay for their meals by simply smiling at a screen – the first commercial application of technology globally.

Yum China, the parent company of KFC China, has launched the concept called KPRO by KFC in Hangzhou, China. The restaurant sees Alipay’s ‘Smile to Pay’ facial recognition solution integrated, which enables customers to pay without the need to grab their wallets by carrying out a multi-step authentication process, including facial scan and mobile number, to verify the customers identity.

“We are excited to launch KPRO – an exciting and fresh new concept for young, tech savvy consumers who are keen to embrace new tastes and innovations,” said Joey Wat, president and COO of Yum China. “Developed to cater to China’s burgeoning population of urban professionals, KPRO offers a creative, modern and seasonal menu with a wide range of dishes that are freshly made-to-order. The restaurant is also made for the digitally connected customers and integrates some of the latest technologies from mobile ordering to facial recognition payment.”

In addition to the ‘Smile to Pay’ integration, KPRO has no traditional ordering counter and enables customers to order at digital kiosks or by using their mobile phones to scan QR codes and order at their tables. Food is prepared freshly and delivered by staff directly to the tables.