MasterCard is getting behind the first commercial use of SoftBank’s robot, known as Pepper to his mates, inside Pizza Hut restaurants across Asia. And it’s not a bad idea to be honest, given ex-CEO of Maccas declared robots the future of employment.
According to The Drum, the service will offer MasterCard’s digital payment service MasterPass, with the pizza powerhouse giving Pepper a trial run over the next few months.
Pizza Hut is the first brand to jump on the robot bandwagon, with the end game aimed at getting Pepper in a whole string of Asian restaurants by the end of the year.
Per The Drum, MasterCard VP, innovation management, digital payments and labs, Tobias Puehse, said it’s not enough to just dump a robot into the mix, with consumers still expecting personalised service and simple processes.
“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.”
Pepper will be programmed to respond when activated via a QR code or once the MasterPass has been switched on in the app, before offering personalised suggestions and helping the customer along to the checkout stage.
Naturally, the goal is to make waiting times smaller and customer grins bigger, with Pizza Hut Restaurants Asia MD Vipul Chawla adding it’s all about simplifying how customers “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.”
SoftBank is preparing to launch Pepper to a wider market which includes America, and recently launched its first ad campaign for the robot: