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Robot Customer Service: Pizza Hut Employs Pepper

Payment tech has been combined with robotics, with MasterCard unveiling the first commerce application for SoftBank Robotics’ humanoid robot Pepper, which will be powered by MasterCard’s MasterPass digital payment service.

Pizza Hut Restaurants Asia will be the inaugural launch partner, “piloting Pepper for order-taking and personalised engagement to enhance customer service in-store” by the end of 2016.

“Consumers have come to expect personalised service, customised offers and simple and seamless processes both in-store and online,” Tobias Puehse, MasterCard vice president, Innovation Management, Digital Payments and Labs, Asia/Pacific, commented.

“The app’s goal is to provide consumers with more memorable and personalised shopping experience beyond today’s self-serve machines and kiosks, by combining Pepper’s intelligence with a secure digital payment experience via MasterPass.”

Customers will be able to initiate an engagement by greeting Pepper, pairing their MasterPass account by either tapping the Pepper icon within the wallet or scanning a QR code on the tablet held by the robot.

Once paired, Pepper will be able to assist “by providing personalised recommendations and offers, additional information on products, and assistance in checking out and paying for items”.

Pepper can initiate, approve and complete a transaction, connecting to MasterPass via a Wi-Fi connection, with the entire transaction happening within the wallet, MasterCard states.

“Core to our digital transformation journey is the ability to make it easier for customers to engage, connect and transact with Pizza Hut,” Vipul Chawla, Pizza Hut Restaurants Asia managing director, commented.

“With an order-and-payment-enabled Pepper, customers can now come to expect personalised ordering at our stores, reduce wait time for carryout and have a fun, frictionless user experience.”

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