INTERNATIONAL | Staff Reporter, China

Yum China, KFC integrate Smile to Pay facial recognition system

It is the first commercial application of the facial recognition payment technology globally.

Yum China Holdings, Inc. has launched a new restaurant concept, KPRO by KFC in Hangzhou, China. The concept is designed to offer a fresh, seasonal menu to a new generation of diners.

The KPRO menu features seasonal produce and an assortment of made-to-order salads, panini and roasted chicken, with the addition of fruit juice, gourmet coffee, craft beer and Cremia ice cream. The store is designed with a "greenhouse" layout and an open kitchen.

Yum China’s president and chief operating officer Joey Wat said, "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.”

"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," he added.

The key feature of the new restaurant is the integration of Alipay's new "Smile to Pay" facial recognition payment solution, which enables customers to pay without reaching for their wallets. Alipay's payment technology utilizes a multi-step authentication process, including a facial scan and mobile phone number, to verify the identity of customers and facilitate payment.

The integration of 'Smile to Pay' in the new KPRO restaurant in Hangzhou is the first commercial application of the facial recognition payment technology globally.

"Yum China has a history of adopting innovative technologies to enhance in-store dining experience and we could think of no better place to pilot this advanced technology. Smile to Pay will bring another level of convenience for customers," said Jidong Chen, Ant Financial's director of biometric identification technology. "We are excited to introduce Smile to Pay to KPRO customers."

In addition to facial recognition payment, KPRO incorporates other innovation throughout the restaurant to provide customers with a convenient and connected in-restaurant experience. Customers are able to 'skip the queue' by ordering at digital kiosks or using their mobile phones to scan QR codes and order at their tables. KPRO staff then serve the freshly prepared food directly to the tables.

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