Alipay has launched its new facial-recognition payments technology for commercial use, Ant Financial Services Group said Friday.
“Smile to Pay,” the first service of its type, debuted at a KFC’s new, healthy-food concept restaurant, called KPRO, in Hangzhou. With it, Alipay users can authenticate their payments through a combination of facial scanning and inputting their mobile phone numbers. That means they won’t need to break out their wallets—or even smartphones—anymore.
For the time being, Alipay is only offering the Smile to Pay option at the lone KPRO restaurant. Ant Financial said it plans to expand usage over time. KFC introduced KPRO in July to draw in young Chinese consumers looking for healthier fare such as salads and juices, rather than the global chain’s trademark fried chicken.