Very soon, Pizza Hut outlets in Asia will have a new staff member: Pepper, an adorable all-white, bald humanoid robot, who is adept at taking orders and handling payments.
Pepper is built by SoftBank Robotics Holdings Corporation, a Japanese tech firm. This humanoid robot can interact with customers and perceive emotions. So far, 140 SoftBank’s stores in Japan have employed Pepper.
Pepper is an initiative of MasterCard. The application will be powered by MasterPass, the global digital payment service from MasterCard that connects customers with merchants, enabling them to make fast, simple, and secure digital payments across channels and devices.
How Pepper works
A customer in a Pizza Hut outlet will be able to talk to Pepper by pairing his or her MasterPass account either by tapping the Pepper icon within the wallet or by scanning a QR code on the tablet, which the robot holds.
Pepper can make food recommendations to customers and initiate, approve and complete a transaction.
Tobias Puehse, vice president, innovation management, Digital Payments & Labs at MasterCard, said that 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.
“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,” said Vipul Chawla, managing director of Pizza Hut Restaurants, Asia.