Mastercard Brings AI Voice Assistants To QSRs

drive-in ordering fast food

Mastercard announced Thursday (May 16) it inked a partnership with ZIVELO, a self-service kiosk technology company, to enhance the drive-in ordering experience for quick service restaurants (QSRs).

In a press release, Mastercard said it marks the first time an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered voice assistant will be used in drive-in- and drive-through ordering. Mastercard and ZIVELO are partnering with Sonic Drive-In, which will be the first to pilot the technology at select Sonic locations around the country. Mastercard said the technology will first be on display at the National Restaurant Association Show being held in Chicago this weekend (May 18-21).

“We are excited to be partnering with ZIVELO to help QSR merchants further enhance their ordering experience to provide even more contextual interactions with their customers and ultimately allow them to get their food faster,” said Stephane Wyper, senior vice president, new commerce partnerships, Mastercard in the press release. “This builds on Mastercard’s continued focus on leveraging our payment, loyalty and analytics capabilities to innovate within the retail space alongside our merchant and technology partners.”

Customers of Sonic will be prompted when they arrive at the drive-in display to order via a voice-ordering assistant that is integrated within the digital menu display. The display can be customized for specific customers or for the weather, time of day, season and location, said Mastercard.

Mastercard said the technology to make the voice ordering possible came out of the Mastercard Lab and can be customized for the needs of merchants. It's built on ZIVELO's software operating system. Mastercard is also tapping ZIVELO's experience in the self-service display industry. The company has deployed tens of thousands of kiosks in restaurants.

“Drive-thru accounts for 70 percent of QSR transactions, yet the experience has remained more or less untouched by innovation,” said Healey Cypher, CEO of ZIVELO, in the same press release. “As customer expectation continues to move toward faster, personalized, and contextual experiences, we are excited to partner with Mastercard to bring this transformative solution to market and hopefully exceed those expectations.”



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