Alipay Enables Naked Payments at Upscale New KFC Restaurant

Diners at a KFC store in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou will have a new way to pay for their meal.

Since previous year, KFC and KPRO in China have become separate entities from KFC in the U.S. and is now owned by Yum Holdings that wants to encourage younger generations back into its franchises. The facial recognition system is called Smile to Pay, and it’s being featured at a Yum Brands (the company behind KFC) so-called concept store called KPRO that is focused on healthier menu items.

Yum China, which spun off from its United States parent Yum Brands Inc previous year, is trying to rev up growth in the world’s second largest economy, where food safety scares and changing consumer tastes have dented sales since 2012.

“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.

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. Alibaba Group’s affiliate Ant Financial Services plans to expand the service to other locations over time.

The process behind Smile to Pay is actually very simple: Customers pay for their food by approaching the face-scanning kiosk and entering their phone number.

Smile to Pay, combined with a 3D camera, can effectively block the attempts of fraud clients, who will try to show photos or video of other people.

The KPRO menu features seasonal produce, made-to-order salads, panini and roasted chicken juice, as well as the aforementioned premium beverages and desserts.

The concept store is not the first time Yum, or its major rival McDonald’s Corp, have tested new ideas in the market.

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