As merchants navigating the impacts of COVID-19 seek out enhanced technology for in-person engagement, Mastercard announced a new suite of frictionless solutions for retailers to reimagine their physical shopping experience. Applicable and adaptable to any retail environment – from restaurants to pharmacies – Mastercard’s Shop Anywhere and AI-Powered Drive Through solutions deliver low touch, high engagement experiences for retailers, and the end consumer.
Mastercard is deploying these new solutions with leading retailers and sport, entertainment, and hospitality partners including Circle K, Delaware North, Dunkin’ and White Castle at a time where consumers are increasingly looking for touch-free ways to transact and interact in the physical setting. According to Mastercard’s Recovery Insights: Shift to Digital report, in-person shopping remains a draw, though consumers are seeking offerings that bridge the physical and digital to streamline the overall experience.
“As retailers and consumers navigate through one of the most disruptive periods in modern history, it’s clear that traditional business operations will need to evolve quickly,” said Stephane Wyper, Senior Vice President, Retail Innovation, Mastercard. “We’re committed to supporting our retail partners as they look to meet the unforeseen challenges posed by this new normal and provide their customers with a more digitally enabled, touchless, and secure retail experience.”
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Checkout Free Shopping
The Shop Anywhere platform, supported by AI and computer vision technology partner Accel Robotics, enables retailers to create simple, personalized shopping experiences in stores based on consumers’ needs and without compromising privacy.
The Shop Anywhere platform improves the speed of the shopper journey by eliminating existing points of friction through robust inventory and participating shopper analytics – offering consumers no wait, no checkout lines, and secure payments. Shop Anywhere can also give shoppers access to stores outside of normal opening hours if selected by the retailer, in addition to unique and exclusive merchandise.
Shop Anywhere can be deployed across a range of physical spaces, such as shopping malls, airports, grocery stores, and apparel outlets. Mastercard is rolling out live pilots of the Shop Anywhere platform with several retail partners and beginning in October 2020:
- Circle K will launch at-the-pump and in-store frictionless experiences for its consumers, enabling them to efficiently grab-and-go snacks and drinks at select U.S. and Canadian locations.
- Delaware North, a global hospitality company operating at sports and entertainment venues, national parks, destinations restaurants and resorts, airports and regional casinos, will deploy standalone, frictionless food and drink stores powered by the Mastercard solution
- At a Dunkin’ restaurant testing the technology, customers can approach the store environment and pick up their coffee and donuts – walking away without any face-to-face interaction.
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A Personalized Drive Through Menu for You
The AI-Powered Drive Through the platform, provided in partnership with SoundHound Inc. and Rekor Systems (Nasdaq: REKR), can help quick-service restaurant brands transform their drive-through or drive-in interactions through vehicle recognition, voice ordering, and artificial intelligence.
Consumers can receive personalized and dynamic menu offers based on historical purchasing trends either based on the store or the individual participating consumer. The solution also reduces friction within the ordering process by removing the need to wait for an employee to take an order, enabling staff to focus on order throughput.
This technology builds upon Mastercard’s commitment to the QSR environment – last year, Sonic Drive-In prototyped an AI-powered voice assistant and personalized dynamic menu in partnership with Mastercard. The AI-Powered Drive Through technology will begin on-location pilots at White Castle locations in October 2020 and will also be rolling out with other quick-service restaurants later in the year.
Mastercard continues to invest in retail innovation solutions to provide value to its merchant partners, expand acceptance, and deliver secure and streamlined payments for cardholders. Leveraging technologies such as computer vision, artificial intelligence, biometrics, and tokenization, Mastercard offers retailers best-in-class solutions that combine scale, security, and infrastructure to enhance the shopper experience.
“We are thrilled to partner with Mastercard to help retailers deliver a new world of convenience,” said Brandon Maseda, Chief Executive Officer, Accel Robotics. “Through the Shop Anywhere platform, we are helping shorten the distance between shoppers and satisfaction.”
“With the health and safety of our guests and employees being our top priority in the pandemic and as part of our ongoing commitment to innovation, Delaware North has turned to a well-recognized industry leader in Mastercard to help us deliver a frictionless, safe and secure experience for our guests,” said Jeff Wilkinson, Chief Information Officer, Delaware North. “With a great partner like Mastercard, we’re excited to activate this new contactless capability this fall at select Delaware North Sportservice locations.”
“At White Castle, as a nearly 100-year-old family business guided by having a heart for hospitality, bringing technological empowerment to the drive thru is the next chapter in innovation for our industry,” said Susan Carroll-Boser, Vice President, Technology at White Castle. “We’re honored to partner with Mastercard on this important initiative, and eager for our customers to enjoy the benefits it will provide.”
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