"Smile to pay" in new KFC outlet under partnership with Alipay

Yum China and Alipay today jointly launched KFC’s new KPRO restaurant in Hangzhou, which is incorporated with Alipay’s facial recognition payment solution “Smile to Pay”.
Ti Gong

Yum China and Alipay today jointly launched KFC’s new KPRO restaurant in Hangzhou which is incorporated with Alipay’s facial recognition payment solution “Smile to Pay”.

KPRO is a new sub-brand of KFC China and is expected to “bring excitement to young and adventurous consumers that love to try new tastes,” according to Yum China president and chief operation officer Joey Wat. 

The KPRO restaurant has different menu offerings from existing KFC stores in China and it will also offer seasonal dishes and snacks, with more focus on urban young working professionals.

Smile to Pay allows customers to authenticate payments through facial scanning, and it’s the first commercial application of a facial recognition payment solution worldwide.

Visitors to the KPRO restaurants can order from a self-ordering kiosk choose their payment method before checking out.

The facial recognition process takes one to two seconds and the payment will be completed only after the customer inputs the mobile phone number connected to the Alipay account.

The multi-step authentication process further ensures the security of transactions and each customer's Smile to Pay function can be enabled or turned off at any time.

Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial invested US$50 million in the spin-off of Yum’s China operations last year, and Alipay has been actively seeking to incorporate its latest technology with an increasing number of offline retailers and brick-and-mortar stores.

The beta version of Smile to Pay was first unveiled in Hanover in March 2015.

“We are excited to introduce Smile to Pay to KPRO customers and look forward to seeing it play an important role in digital financial services,”  said Chen Jidong, Ant Financial’s director of biometric identification technology.



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