Yum China Experiments with Customers Using Facial Recognition Technology to Pay
Yum China Holdings Inc. announced last week that it has launched a new restaurant concept in Hangzhou that uses face recognition technology. It utilizes Alibaba’s Alipay online payment technology, which facially recognizes customers so that they can pay for a meal without even reaching for their wallet.
The high-tech dining concept is called KPRO by Yum China’s KFC division. Serving salad, panini, gourmet coffee and roasted chicken, the open kitchen restaurant targets China’s upcoming urban professionals.
"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," said Joey Wat, president and chief operating officer of Yum China. Yum China has more than 7,500 restaurants in China from Little Sheep to Pizza Hut restaurant chains. ”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 customer and integrates some of the latest technologies from mobile ordering to facial recognition payment."
Alipay uses a facial scan and mobile phone number to verify the identity of a customer to transfer money. With no traditional ordering counter, customers are able to 'skip the queue' by ordering at a digital kiosk or ordering at their table by using their mobile phones to scan QR codes. KPRO staff—humans, not robots— then serve the food directly to the tables.
"We are excited to partner with Alipay to bring the world's first commercial application of the facial recognition payment solution to our customers,” said Johnson Huang, General Manager of KFC. “With the adoption of the facial recognition payment solution, KPRO customers can experience this ground breaking technology while enjoying fresh and tasty meals prepared in our open kitchen."