MasterCard May Soon Bring Robot Assistants to Your Retail Experience

June 1, 2016, Written By Bill Hardekopf
MasterCard May Soon Bring Robot Assistants to Your Retail Experience

Pizza Hut restaurants in Singapore will soon have a new employee: a humanoid robot named Pepper, who will be powered by MasterCard’s MasterPass payment service.

Robots like Pepper were built to bring conversational commerce experiences to consumers. Since it will be integrated with the MasterPass app, Pepper will be able to access customer and sales information to personalize interactions.

Pizza Hut Asia hopes to have Pepper taking orders and interacting with customers by the end of 2016.

“Consumers have come to expect personalized service, customized offers and simple and seamless processes both in-store and online,” said Tobias Puehse, vice president, innovation management, Digital Payments & Labs at MasterCard. “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.”

To interact with Pepper, users greet the robot and pair their MasterPass account by either tapping the Pepper icon within their mobile wallet or scanning a QR code on the robot’s tablet. Pepper will then be able to offer personalized recommendations and offers, additional product information and assistance in checking out and paying.

The transactions are completed entirely over Wi-Fi within the MasterPass wallet.

“We are excited to welcome Pepper to the Pizza Hut family,” said Vipul Chawla, Managing Director of Pizza Hut Restaurants Asia. “Core to our digital transformation journey is the ability to make it easier for customers to engage, connect and transact with Pizza Hut.  With an order-and-payment-enabled Pepper, customers can now come to expect personalized ordering at our stores, reduce wait time for carryout, and have a fun, frictionless user experience.”

MasterCard would like to one day see robots like Pepper working in hotels, banks, airports and other customer service industries, though no immediate plans have been announced.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 1, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.

About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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