The conversations of life

Paying for fried chicken by scanning your face? Now you can – in China


Yes, it’s true. A KFC in Hangzhou is allowing customers to pay for food with their face.

Called ‘Smile to Pay’, the payment method works like this: pick what you want from the menu in the kiosk, then stand still while your face is run through their facial-recognition software.

If it matches the picture in their system, the cost of the meal is debited from your account.

So could someone use your picture to steal your ‘three-piece feed’?

Ant Financial, which developed the technology, says a 3D camera and “liveless detection algorithm” will stop fraudsters from using other people’s photos or videos to access their account. Customers also have to put in their phone number as an added security measure.

It’s not the first time KFC has experimented with facial recognition – last year, its Chinese stores worked with web service company Baidu to create ‘smart restaurants’ that scanned customers’ faces and made food order suggestions based on their sex, age and mood.

I’m not sure I like the sound of that though. I’m always in the mood for fries.

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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