AI-Driven Platform Engages Consumers, Facilitates Transactions and Provides a Secure Checkout Experience

PURCHASE, N.Y. and SAN JOSE, Calif. – April 18, 2017 – Today at the Facebook Developer Conference, Mastercard announced Masterpass-enabled bots to drive more seamless shopping on Facebook Messenger with FreshDirect®, Subway® and The Cheesecake Factory®.

The bots leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to enable consumers to interact with the merchant brands, build their order and securely checkout via Masterpass, all without leaving the Messenger platform.

Masterpass-enabled bots work across multiple verticals – from restaurants to retail – making conversational commerce frictionless while delivering a more personalized experience. The bots allow consumers to engage with brands in new places where they are already spending their time, as messaging apps and platforms like Messenger currently represent many of the top 10 global apps used by billions of people worldwide. The bots will also support all Masterpass-enabled wallets from banks including Citi and Capital One.

“The Mastercard vision is to support all forms of commerce – addressing the full range of merchant experiences and consumer needs, and ensuring that every one of our accounts is as digital as the people using them. Masterpass-enabled bots on Messenger offer both merchants and consumers innovative, compelling and secure digital payments on an extremely popular and active platform,” said Garry Lyons, Chief Innovation Officer, Mastercard.

  • FreshDirect – FreshDirect is an online fresh food grocer delivering to residences and offices throughout seven states, including the New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, and the District of Columbia. Working with Mastercard, FreshDirect now makes it easy for customers in those markets to browse, shop and purchase their groceries directly within Messenger. [video]
  • Subway – Subway restaurants, the world’s largest restaurant brand, is launching a bot for Messenger that enables guests to order a sandwich or salad with their choice of fresh vegetables, cheese, sauce and toppings as well as chips, cookies and drinks. The bot deployed today to more than 26,500 Subway restaurants in the U.S. Guests can checkout securely using Masterpass. [video]
  • The Cheesecake Factory – Consumers looking to purchase personalized gift cards can now do so simply with just a few clicks and keystrokes within Messenger. [video] To enable this, The Cheesecake Factory uses CashStar’s real-time gifting capability, which instantly approves and activates gift cards. The Cheesecake Factory is the first brand in CashStar’s portfolio of leading merchants, retailers and restaurants to implement the bot capability for Messenger.

Masterpass-enabled Bots on Messenger Drive Conversational Commerce

  • “We are thrilled to partner with Mastercard to deliver a conversational shopping experience, offering our customers a new option to seamlessly shop for groceries,” said FreshDirect CEO and co-founder, Jason Ackerman. “As a food tech company, it’s our mission to keep fresh at everyone’s fingertips. By harnessing the power of Messenger, we’re able to engage with our customers on a platform that fits their lifestyle and allow them to easily shop FreshDirect as well as collaborate on carts with family and friends.”
  • “Our bot for Messenger, deployed in more than 26,500 U.S. Subway restaurants, is the largest deployment of a Messenger bot in the restaurant industry. We’re proud to offer our guests an innovative new way to order and pay outside the restaurants,” said Carman Wenkoff, Subway’s Chief Information and Digital Officer. “This is a new initiative in the quest to enhance the guest experience.”
  • “The Cheesecake Factory is known for delicious, memorable food and wonderful hospitality, and we are always looking for ways to further enhance our guest experience,” said David Gordon, President of The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated. “Through this commerce-enabled bot we are able to leverage a new engagement channel with our guests. The bot experience delivers the convenience of customizing a gift card through Messenger integrated with Masterpass payment functionality to enable a simplified checkout experience.”

Earlier this year, Mastercard opened up its experimental Masterpass Chatbot API on the Mastercard Developers platform to help merchants begin to test the technology and enable commerce within their own branded solutions across multiple channels and digital platforms. Mastercard and Turkish mobile retailer Getir developed a Masterpass-enabled bot that allows consumers to shop and pay for more than 600 everyday items within Messenger, receiving guaranteed 10-minute delivery of their purchased goods.

“We are thrilled that Mastercard, in partnership with FreshDirect, Subway and The Cheesecake Factory, now offers Masterpass-enabled bots for use on Messenger. Building automated and AI-driven capabilities like bots to conduct commerce will make it easier than ever to interact with people in new, engaging ways,” said David Marcus, Vice President of Messenger.

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

About FreshDirect

FreshDirect is a food tech company and the Northeast’s leading online fresh food grocer, delivering directly to customers throughout seven states, including the New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, and the District of Columbia. FreshDirect is committed to sourcing the freshest and best-tasting meat, fish, produce, and specialty items through direct relationships with suppliers, growers, and farmers. In 2016, FreshDirect expanded its portfolio with the launch of FoodKick, an on-demand business that caters to the needs of urban dwellers with a curated selection of food, alcohol, and essentials—all delivered within an hour. Launched in 2002, FreshDirect is a privately held company headquartered in Long Island City, NY. For more information, visit www.freshdirect.com or www.foodkick.com.

About Subway® Restaurants

Guests in 112 countries have easy access to a fresh line-up of vegetables for their made-to-order sandwiches and salads at more than 44,600 franchised locations. Sandwich Artists serve 7.5 million sandwiches a day around the world. The company, founded over 50 years ago by then 17-year-old Fred DeLuca and family-friend Dr. Peter Buck, is still a family-owned business with thousands of dedicated franchisees/entrepreneurs in neighborhoods around the world, providing easy access to vegetables, detailed nutrition, dietary, and healthy lifestyle information. This has been a priority for the Subway® restaurants chain for many years. To learn more, visit www.subway.com. Subway® is a registered trademark of Subway IP Inc.

About The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated

The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated created the upscale casual dining segment in 1978 with the introduction of its namesake concept. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates 208 full-service, casual dining restaurants throughout the U.S.A. and Puerto Rico, including 194 restaurants under The Cheesecake Factory® mark; 13 restaurants under the Grand Lux Cafe® mark; and one restaurant under the RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen® mark. Internationally, 15 The Cheesecake Factory® restaurants operate under licensing agreements. The Company’s bakery division operates two bakery production facilities, in Calabasas Hills, CA and Rocky Mount, NC, that produce quality cheesecakes and other baked products for its restaurants, international licensees and third-party bakery customers. In 2017 the Company was named to the FORTUNE Magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list for the fourth consecutive year. To learn more about the Company, visit www.thecheesecakefactory.com.

FORTUNE and FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® are registered trademarks of Time Inc. and are used under license.  From FORTUNE Magazine, March 15, 2017 ©2017 Time Inc. Used under license. FORTUNE and Time Inc. are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of, The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated.

Mastercard Communications Contact
Brian Gendron

Mastercard

914-325-1799

brian.gendron@mastercard.com

FreshDirect Communications Contact

Elizabeth King

FreshDirect

718-928-1929

eking@freshdirect.com

Subway® Communications Contact

Bob Brown

Subway

800-888-4848, ext. 1237

brown_b@subway.com or press@subway.com

The Cheesecake Factory Communications Contacts

Stacy Lewis / Jenny Loeb / Angela Ibarra

Murphy O’Brien Public Relations

310-453-2539

cheesecake@murphyobrien.com