Paying with a Smile

Once upon a time, on my birthday, I would open a card from my Granny, who lived on the other side of the world, to find a cheque for £50. Yep, that’s right, a piece of paper with writing on it. This would then be taken to the bank and transferred to cash. And don’t get me wrong, a trip to the bank when I was 6 was actually exciting.  

We have grown older and technology has grown with us. We watched our parents swipe a card, chuck in a few numbers and walk away, bags in hand, and wonder WTF!?

Little did we know, that one day, standing behind someone who Swiped, Selected Credit and Inserted a 4-didgit pin, would become one of life’s most frustrating moments.

Hello, Pay-Wave or Tap & Go, call it what you want, its quick, easy and you don’t need your parents pin. Life’s a dream. But wait, now the person in front of me literally doesn’t have a wallet… nor a card… ok now he’s holding his phone on the machine and walking away??giphy1

Apparently, wallets have become a novelty and everything it holds can or will soon be able to be stored in your phone.

So Elliot, what’s the point of this. Well, how far is technology going to go.

Just recently, KFC in China has launched the technology that allows consumers to ‘Pay with their Smile’ J. Obviously there a catch, and KFC wants you to register to the app and of course, there’s further security involved. But is this sign of things to come?

Screen Shot 2017-09-06 at 11.04.06 AM.png

Smiling or giving the thumbs up to simply pay for your coffee. Or even further, might there be voice recognition when you grab your next Happy Meal.

I don’t know about you, but every time there is an improvement in the way to pay for something, the value of money becomes less. It almost feels too easy to wave my card, while not seeing the physical cash, making me feel like I’m not spending much at all, until I nervously check my bank balance.

Have these advances in technology made you spend without thinking?

Is this making it easy to spend money online?

What might be next?



18 thoughts on “Paying with a Smile

  1. This is a great topic because I feel I along with many others have done the good old splurge with my car, to then check my balance and think well… looks like its 2 minute noodles for the week. I will admit carrying money to me personally is really annoying. Theres nothing worse than going and getting takeout and the place doesn’t take card, so you have to go out and about to find the nearest ATM and if its not your bank, get charged a fee. Its funny though because I’m a lot more money wise with cash than card, and again as you said its because you cant actually see it so it doesn’t seem like its happening! I definitely think technology has made us spend a lot more than we would if we had just cash! I did actually read an article recently(can’t for the life of me remember where it was) but a company actually put microchips in their workers arms and they could use it to buy things and do other stuff. So it wouldn’t surprise me if thats the way the world is going!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a response! Thanks for that! Yes saying goodbye to cash is so much harder then waving the card! I realised i hated cash when i went overseas to Nepal where they don’t use EFTPOS machines at all and you have to take out bulk cash and you feel so much more nervous with it on you and spending it!
      Very similar to that is a music festival in Denmark where they had bracelets with chips in them and they could pay for everything with that. Dangerous if you lost it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such an interesting topic and so relevant to today! That’s so crazy that KFC’s technology has advanced to that level and it is just the beginning. Similarly to Rebecca, I’m also a victim of mindless spending because of how easy it is these days to buy things.. I mean from your article, we don’t even need a wallet anymore. The fact that we can even pay with just our phones blows my mind! These advances in payment methods has in a way lessened the value of money and makes it feel like we can just spend without facing consequences afterwards. But I guess they are just keeping up with the technology evolution 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think everyone falls into that trap, in 2015 there was already 53% of people using alternatives to cash. Would hate to know that number now. I think we all fall into that trap. Just way too easy to spend without thinking these days. Its weird to think how we might one day pay for things. Thanks for the comment 😊😊


  3. Whilst I see the dangers of mindless spending with these methods, the increased security they provide offers me some comfort. Apple pay requires a fingerprint and that KFC method uses facial recognition. Whilst I’m sure that people will figure out a way to hack these systems, they still seem more secure than carrying cash or a card with you, which I like

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes this is very true. Of course our lives are becoming easier, and to a degree i think more secure. Its weird to think that one day it could be something so easy with such high security that we won’t have phones nor cards. Thanks for you comment!


  4. Definitely it’s far too easy to swipe up a storm and be left with an empty bank account! Maybe finger print technology will be the future, and we’ll have a chip in our brain like on Black Mirror so we don’t even need a phone haha. Anything is possible!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a good point, Black Mirror paints a pretty dark picture of technology in the future. Might only need a phone to rate people like the first episode!


  5. Great idea by companies such as KFC and the like. Although facial recognition technology seems to be effective in ensuring privacy is maintained, it does also bring with it increasing concerns that people will find a way to hack the system. As someone outlined above, I think we would be much better off using something that is 100% unique to each individual, such as fingerprint technology.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I definitely tend to overspend when I use my card especially on a night out because it’s sometimes hard to keep track of how much you’re spending when you don’t see the money disappear from your wallet! I think the fingerprint technology has some potential!! It will be interesting to see how we will be completing transactions in 20-30 years!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nights out are a killer. I think bars have made it a lot easier to spend more. And a lot of banks dont have a limit setting that you can put on for a night out. 20 and 30 years who knows what it could be!


  7. Really interesting topic, I hadn’t heard of KFC’s ‘Pay with your smile’! I agree with the other comments, I am definitely much more money conscious with cash, and feel slightly guilty each time I take the physical notes out of my wallet! Definitely agree that technology is influencing increasing consumer spending, which is a bit concerning as the consumer, we are becoming less mindful of tracking our spending! It’s crazy how much technology related to spending has changed in such a short amount of time, excited to see what’s next!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s pretty scary how easy it has become to spend money now! Further how far it might go given that some people put on a smile and they have paid for their meal! Thanks for the comment! Glad you found it interesting!


  8. Technology has definitely made me feel like I’m not spending money when I really am. It would be crazy to be able to pay for stuff with just your face via facial recognition. The good thing with technology making it feel like we arn’t spending any money is that brands are probably making more money from it so they will do anything to make spending money easy
    Interesting read!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Definitely think the advances in technology has made me spend without thinking, especially when i’m on the beers at a bar. The idea of pay wave has increased the chances that you’ll buy more because its quick, easy and you don’t think about the total amount too much. I think online you do think about the total cost more when you’re entering all your details, realising how much it is and then having to question whether its worth it or not. I like this idea of pay with a thumbs up or a smile, but I think it might be much better for the less fortunate such as the homeless. The idea of pay forward perhaps might work, i know there is a cafe in the USA that has pay for a slice of pizza for the next person, and it could really work! Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The influence of beer in the system defiantly doesn’t help the rate of wave the card either. Its made the alcohol industry flourish with electronic pay, quicker service, less waiting and better experience for the consumer.
      Imagine just giving the thumbs up, or when you talk to the waiter and order, your voice is recognised and bills are paid for.
      I like the idea of that idea of paying for someone else. Do you know that name of that?


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