Move over Bitcoin, there’s a new currency in town. Some Chinese brands have been experimenting with facial recognition software which uses your face to pay for things. Online payment has gone from tedious number punching to Apply pay and now your face?
Fintech has been a growing segment, though still in its infancy like VR and AR but how will it inadvertently shape the way branding will be defined? Brands are just starting to figure out how to incorporate AR and VR into their strategy but is it too early for facial recognition and branding?
Even though the idea of using facial recognition software is a great concept but it raises a slew of security questions that have yet to be thoroughly addressed. Does this type of technology impeded on privacy and how else will it be used to track consumers? How will this impact identity theft?
Despite working out all the kinks one of KFC’s brand K-Po is surprisingly paving the way for this new technology to be utilized in restaurants. This first ever venture launched in conjunction with Ant Financial, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The technology is based on the digital payment platform Alipay, which has over half a billion worldwide users and already allows Chinese users to sign into the app using their face.
Diners at K-Pro can now use their face to pay for their meals. They simply place an order at a terminal, which then scans their face. It matches the image with their photo ID that’s stored in the system and customers will have to enter their phone number to verify their identity. Their order is still served by a regular human.
The use of facial recognition software has been tested throughout China. Tech giant Baidu has allowed its staff to pay with their faces at the company restaurant. Baidu even rolled out this technology at a KFC in Beijing. The software would scan customers’ faces in order to predict what they would order based on age, mood, and gender. A popular Beijing park even used facial scanners in the restrooms, where it had face scanners to catch people from stealing toilet paper.