You Can Now Pay Using Your Face at a KFC in China

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“It’s now way easier to pay for a bucket of fried chicken in China.

A KFC restaurant in Hangzhou, China is testing a new facial recognition payment system that lets you pay for your meal by simply smiling at a camera.

The new payment method called “Smile to Pay” was launched in partnership with Alipay, the popular mobile and online payment platform created by Chinese conglomerate Alibaba.

The company says the facial recognition technology only takes about two seconds to scan someone’s face using a 3D camera and a “live-ness detection algorithm” to combat fraud.

This isn’t the first time KFC has shown interest in facial-recognition technology, either. Last year, KFC’s Chinese division partnered with Baidu to create new tech-infused “smart restaurants” that used similar technology to scan a customer’s face and make food order suggestions based on their mood, age, and gender.”

China is leaps and bounds ahead of the US when it comes to payment systems. I can head out for the night without my wallet and still be able to pay for dinner, taxis, drinks, street meat, Chinese medicine, etc.,  just using the Wechat app on my phone. I could even pay for an airplane bash using mobile payments but I prefer to not leave a paper trail when indulging in such nefarious activities.  I know the US has Apple Pay and Samsung Pay but I honestly haven’t seen a single soul use it since I’ve been back in the states. Why is that? I asked Big Cat and his response was  “I like cold hard cash. I like to feel it in my hand. Plus I don’t trust robots.” Fair enough.

Anyways, I’m personally a fan of mobile payments and wouldn’t mind seeing the US take a page out of China’s playbook in that respect. However, when it comes to paying with your face I’m out.

“Diners at the restaurant, a KFC brand in China known as KPro, place their order at a terminal, which then scans their face. If it matches the image on the photo ID stored in the system, the customer only has to enter their phone number and the payment goes through. (Their food is still served by a regular human.)”

First off, I sure as hell don’t want KFC having my photo ID stored in their system. When China inevitably tries to deport me I know the Colonel wouldn’t hesitate for a second to help government authorities with the manhunt. I’m on record saying KFC in China is trash and the sole reason kids like this exist now.

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Secondly, you have to enter your phone number after they scan your face? That completely defeats the convenience of just using your face to pay for fried chicken. I can just pay with my card or my phone in the same amount of time and avoid having my face entered into KFC’s new surveillance program so they can conveniently make me disappear next time I complain about the outrageous amounts of Mayonnaise they put on their sandwiches.

I did get a kick out of a few things in this article tho.

The company says the facial recognition technology only takes about two seconds to scan someone’s face using a 3D camera and a “live-ness detection algorithm” to combat fraud.

Imagine walking into a KFC with another person’s photo taped to your face in order to get some free pop-corn chicken. Takes pathetic to a whole new level I didn’t think was possible. Or imagine going through the trouble of making an exact replica mask of someone’s face a la Tom Cruise in Mission impossible just to get some a couple free b̶i̶s̶c̶u̶i̶t̶s̶  bowls of rice porridge (they don’t serve biscuits at Chinese KFC’s smh). Takes psychotic to a whole new level I didn’t think was possible.

This isn’t the first time KFC has shown interest in facial-recognition technology, either. Last year, KFC’s Chinese division partnered with Baidu to create new tech-infused smart restaurants” that used similar technology to scan a customer’s face and make food order suggestions based on their mood, age, and gender.”

Technology that makes order suggestions based on your mood, age, and gender could be so incredibly embarrassing it would be amazing.

Computer system: “hmm 40 year old male who looks horribly depressed. You probably want to get our new double down chicken sandwich that packs a walloping 1500 calories as you see to have completely given up on your life but we’re gonna suggest you get a garden salad and never come back to KFC again as it’s literally killing you.”

KFC employee: “Pull the plug! Shut it down! Shut it the fuck down! Abort! Abort!”

P.S. I filmed a Whoa That’s Weird on the new “Chizza” (Fried Chicken Pizza) they have started serving at Chinese KFCs. Expect that coming down the pipeline.

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