Robots, pizza and MasterCard payments: Pizza Hut customers in Asia soon will get the chance to order food and pay for it via a humanoid machine called Pepper.
The robot, to be deployed as a cashier, comes from SoftBank Robotics, whose products already are used to help customers and demonstrate products in Japan, according to reports and the company’s Website. Hungry people with the MasterPass digital wallet and no opposition to being served by a bloodless clerk will greet Pepper at a restaurant and then tap the Pepper icon within MasterPass or scan a QR code on the tablet the robot will hold. The robot then can offer personalized recommendations and offers, product information, and checkout and payment help, including authorizing transactions via Wi-Fi. MasterCard says the Pepper pilot will begin by the end of this year.
“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 and labs, Asia-Pacific, for 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.”
Pepper represents only one emerging payment method that seems to be inspired by science fiction. For instance, MasterCard and American Express independently are testing technology that uses facial recognition to authenticate mobile transactions. And China-based Alibaba recently revealed its “Smile to Pay” technology, a facial recognition technology the e-commerce giant is developing for mobile shopping and payments.
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Image Credits: SoftBank