Paying with your face, would you?

Over the past few years, computers have become incredibly good at recognising faces, and the technology is expanding quickly.

Facial recognition has existed for decades, but only now has it become accurate enough to be used in secure financial transactions.

The technology is already being used in China where customers can pay bills by doing little more than smiling at a camera.

Customers of KFC restaurants in Hangzhou 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 his or her phone number and the payment goes through.

The KFC restaurant is the first physical store in the world to use facial recognition software to take payments.

Ant Financial, the company that provides the service, is eager to reassure consumers the technology is secure.

The software analyses more than 600 facial features to make a match, and uses a 3D camera and a ‘liveness’ algorithm to make sure people aren’t trying to fool it with photos or videos of someone else.

Ant Financial says its new system will eventually be introduced in Chinese retail outlets other than KFC.

“We hope one day in the future people can go out without their cell phones or wallets,” Dong Liyun, a product manager at Ant Financial, told

Facial recognition technology is already used in many Chinese apps for payment credentials.

It is possible to transfer money through Alipay, a mobile payment app used by more than 120 million people in China, using only your face as security.

Do you think this technology will eventually make its way to Australia? Would you use it?


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Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.
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