MasterCard Powers First Commerce Application within SoftBank Robotics’ Humanoid Robot “Pepper”
Yum Brands to pilot new MasterPass –based commerce application in Pizza Hut to deliver a range of new in-store consumer experiences
MasterCard today unveiled the first commerce application for SoftBank Robotics’ humanoid robot Pepper. The application will be powered by MasterPass, the global digital payment service from MasterCard that connects consumers with merchants, enabling them to make fast, simple, and secure digital payments across channels and devices. Working with Yum! Brands, the companies will pilot the application in select Pizza Hut stores in Asia Pacific later this year.
A major first step forward in bringing conversational commerce experiences to merchants and consumers, this new app extends the robot’s ability to integrate customer service, access to information and sales into a seamless and consistent user experience. Pizza Hut will be testing Pepper for orders and checkout, freeing its servers to pay more attention to in-store customer needs, enhance customer service and focus on customer satisfaction. The order-taking and payment management skills of Pepper will also reduce wait-times for delivery and carry-out services, which currently account for about 80 percent of its sales.
MASTERCARD QUOTE – “Consumers have come to expect personalized service, customized offers and simple and seamless processes both in-store and online,” said Tobias Puehse, vice president, MasterCard Lab. “The app’s goal is to provide consumers with more memorable and personalized shopping experience beyond today’s self-serve machines and kiosks, by combining Pepper’s intelligence with a secure digital payment experience via MasterPass.”
A consumer will be able to initiate an engagement by simply greeting Pepper and pairing the consumer’s MasterPass account by either tapping the Pepper icon within the wallet or by scanning a QR code on the tablet that the robot holds. After pairing with MasterPass, Pepper will be able to assist cardholders by providing personalized recommendations and offers, additional information on products, and assistance in checking out and paying for items. Pepper will be able to initiate, approve and complete a transaction by connecting to MasterPass via a Wi-Fi connection and the entire transaction happens within the wallet.
PIZZA HUT QUOTE – “As part of our digital transformation, we are exploring unique and exciting ways to engage, connect and transact with our customers,” said Karen Chan, chief digital officer, Pizza Hut Asia. “With a payment-enabled Pepper, customers can have a frictionless order and payment experience and we also have the opportunity seamlessly connect it to loyalty programs that allow instant gratification.”
The app was built by the MasterCard Labs team in Singapore, one of the company’s eight research and development centers across the globe. The Pepper application adds to ongoing MasterCard programs that bring payments to any consumer gadget, accessory or wearable to– from fitness bands to refrigerators and now robots. The integration with Pepper has the potential to open up opportunities in the world of retail such as personalized shopping and concierge services, in-aisle checkout and the ability to buy in store but get the goods delivered at home. The same capability would also be applicable to other consumer engagement locations such as hotels, banks, airports, and other customer service industries.
The app is being showcased at the Pepper Partners Europe event hosted by Softbank Robotics Europe (a SoftBank Robotics Holdings group company) in Paris from May 24 – 26, 2016.