MasterCard has introduced the first commerce application for SoftBank Robotics’ humanoid robot ‘Pepper’ to provide payment services in Asia.
Powered by the MasterCard’s digital payment service MasterPass, the robot will be placed in Pizza Hut Restaurants on pilot basis by the end of 2016, which will accept orders, process payments and provide other customer services.
To use Pepper, which has been deployed as a waiter, salesman and customer service representative in numerous firms in Japan, a user will have to pair their MasterPass account either by tapping the Pepper icon within the wallet or by scanning a QR code on the tablet that the robot holds.
After pairing with MasterPass, Pepper will be able to assist cardholders by offering personalized recommendations and offers, additional information on products, and assistance in checking out and paying for items.
Pepper will be able to initiate, approve and complete a transaction by connecting to MasterPass through a Wi-Fi connection and the entire transaction will be executed within the wallet on the user’s smartphone.
MasterCard vice president of innovation management digital payments and labs Tobias Puehse said: "Consumers have come to expect personalized service, customized offers, and simple and seamless processes both in-store and online.
"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."
French robotics company Aldebaran, which specializes in emotionally intelligent humanoids, has developed the Pepper for SoftBank.