Mastercard’s Connected Device API and SoftBank Robotics’ humanoid robot bring seamless voice-based commerce experiences to merchants and consumers

Singapore, 14 March 2018 Science fiction has long imagined humans interacting with machines using the same language that we use to interact with each other. Today, Mastercard and SoftBank Robotics Corp. are making that a reality with the launch of a voice-based commerce application for a humanoid robot at Pizza Hut Singapore’s SAFRA Punggol outlet.

Not only will the robot developed by SoftBank Robotics help Pizza Hut diners with their menu choices and make personalized recommendations, but it is also powered by Mastercard’s Connected Device API to enable cdigitansumers to make fast, simple and secure digital payments using Masterpass. To get started, consumers simply have to greet the robot and pair their Masterpass account embedded in the Pizza Hut Singapore mobile app to enjoy a seamless checkout experience.

“We are thrilled to develop a new humanoid robot-based payment application with Mastercard, one of the world’s top payments technology companies,” said Kenichi Yoshida, Chief Business Officer of SoftBank Robotics. “With the use of this application, we hope that customers will experience smooth ordering and payment. We also hope it will make restaurant management easier.”

Taking a step forward into the realm of conversational commerce, Mastercard also worked with robotics and artificial intelligence firm, Teksbotics, to combine voice-based, interface technologies for the robot, that are connected with Mastercard’s own secure payment services.  The result is a safe and easy voice-assisted commerce experience with the potential to be adopted across various environments – from retail to restaurants like Pizza Hut and beyond.

“At Pizza Hut we are focused on digital innovation that gives customers a more frictionless and human brand experience,” said Vipul Chawla, Managing Director of Pizza Hut Restaurants Asia. “Our collaboration with Mastercard and SoftBank Robotics to introduce this humanoid robot to our restaurant experience is another example of this.”

The integration of Masterpass – Mastercard’s digital payments solution – into its Connected Device API means consumers have the added convenience of now being able to pay across a number of different interfaces – whether via digital voice-based assistants, social media chatbots and mobile apps.

“Mastercard is making it faster and simpler for merchants to onboard to any new voice and chatbot interface without major backend integrations,” said Rama Sridhar, Executive Vice President, Digital and Emerging Partnerships, Asia Pacific, Mastercard. “With the Connected Device API, consumers now have an additional payment choice that is readily available on all types of digital interaction points without compromises on security and personalization.”

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About Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), serves and delivers more pizzas than any other pizza company in the world. With easy order options, Pizza Hut is committed to providing an easy pizza experience – from order to delivery. Founded in 1958, as a small pizza place in Wichita, Kansas, Pizza Hut has become the most-recognized pizza restaurant in the world, operating more than 16,400 restaurants in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit www.pizzahut.com.

About SoftBank Robotics
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, SoftBank Robotics is driving technology forward by becoming a leader in humanoid robotics. The humanoid robot, which is branded as ‘Pepper’ in Japan, offer innovative use cases relevant for the fields of retail, financial services, healthcare, travel, and hospitality. SoftBank Robotics’ sister offices remain in Europe, America, and China under the new SoftBank Robotics Group Corp. To learn more about Softbank Robotics, please visit www.softbankrobotics.com.

About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  Our global payments processing network connects 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 @MastercardAP, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Partner Communications Contacts

Kwok Pin Yiing, +65 6333 1167
pinyiing.kwok@yum.com

SoftBank Robotics, +81 3 6889 2300
sbpr@softbank.co.jp

Mastercard Communications Contact
Venture Liang, +65 6390 5973

venture.liang@mastercard.com

Agency Communications Contact
Danial Cheah, +65 6825 8047 
dcheah@webershandwick.com