You can now pay with your face in China

Alibaba is trialling facial recognition payments at a KFC restaurant in Hangzhou.

Diners may now pay for their fast food meal with their face in China, a country known for its advanced e-payments systems. E-commerce giant Alibaba is trialling facial recognition technology for payments at a new KFC concept store called KPRO in Hangzhou, east China, reported Reuters. Diners may scan their face at an ordering kiosk and then enter their phone number as an extra security feature. The Smile to Pay feature combines a 3D camera with a detection algorithm, and can “effectively block” spoofing attempts if diners were to attempt to use photos or video recordings to pay, said Chen Jidong, Ant Financial’s director of biometric identification technology. Ant Financial developed the facial recognition software in a tie-up with Alibaba. The tech-savvy store is part of an attempt to attract the younger generation of consumers, the report said. China is already well-known for being a trailblazer in the e-payments space. A Penguin Intelligence study shows that 92% of people in China’s top-tier cities chose mobile payment methods such as WeChat Pay as their preferred way to pay in retail stores. E-payments are not restricted to retail stores, either - in Guangzhou, citizens quickly and conveniently pay for medical services and public transport fares with e-payment systems. “If I want to send some money, I can very quickly transfer. Five seconds is enough,” Cai Chaolin, Vice Mayor of Guangzhou, told GovInsider. Citizens in Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen can also use WeChat Pay to pay for electricity bills and traffic fines.