The future of payments: Pepper the robot, chatbots and smart mirrors

Aurel Dragan 29/10/2018 | 14:53

Mastercard presented the latest innovations in digital payments, going from the humanoid robot Pepper through to retail mirrors and smart tables to augmented reality that helps guide you through shopping without the need for a human assistant.

The latest technologies were presented at the Mastercard Technology Summit at the Parliament Palace. The first day was dedicated to innovations, while the second day will have a round table during which Mastercard will present a series of features meant to improve digital competences and integrate digital technologies.

“Mastercard is by definition a technology company in the global payment industry, and the two events at the Mastercard Technology Summit only demonstrate the very high level of innovation in electronic payments that we have reached globally. Each of the payment technologies we introduced for the first time in Romania connects consumers with the fastest, simplest, and, of course, most secure payment methods of the moment,” says Cosmin Vladimirescu, country manager at Mastercard Romania.

Pepper the robot is one of the most spectacular innovations – it works as an assistant, an information desk or any other form of interaction “officer” with customers. The robot is already in use at the Pizza Hut Restaurants in Japan. The app used extends the robot’s ability to integrate consumer services, access to information and sales and gives a consistent user experience.

Customers can connect with Pepper through their smartphone using the MasterPass app, which also allows direct payments. Pepper is also used at the cafeteria in Mastercard Romania’s offices.

The Retail Mirror, created by OAK Labs, includes RFID technology, (identification through radiofrequency) and is dedicated to dressing rooms in clothes stores. It can record customers’ size and color preferences and may recommend clothing items that match the products added to the cart. It also allows direct payments in the dressing room so that the customer can wear the clothes they try on out of the store.

The Biometric Card combines chip technology and biometric authentication through fingerprint to safely identify cardholders when making purchases from the store.

The Dreamhome AR: With the help of Artificial Reality, this technology transforms the experience of furnishing a home into one that allows consumers to choose their furniture and make personalized real time tests according to the space they have at their disposal. At the end, you can pay directly from the app.

The Fly Faster Chatbot is one of the newest technological trends in e-commerce. The bot is essentially an automatic assistant that responds to consumers using programmed information. Many of these assistants communicate with their clients through text messaging and other messaging apps on platforms that consumers frequently use. For example, they allow customers to make bookings for airplane tickets and pay for them, managing to turn a tedious and boring process into a simple and fast one.

Smart Table is the intelligent, interactive table, designed and developed by Mastercard for relaxation in airport restaurants. The smart table turns airport waiting in a relaxing time, allowing contactless payments and mobile apps.

NuData is a technology that allows behavioral biometry. Technology demonstrates the ability to make the difference between two users who log on to a website.

Mastercard has also introduced Wearable, devices that can be worn like smart watches, fitness bracelets, jewelry and other accessories, and who receive payment functions through the Mastercard Enablement Services securing platform.

“We are already in a digital world. In Romania, the percentage of electronic payments in total payments is only 8-9 percent, compared to the 15 percent global average. Between January and August 2018, for cards in the Mastercard portfolio, 7 out of 10 payments were contactless, up 130 percent over the same period last year. Romania ranked 10th in the world in the contactless card absorption rate. We brought these cards to Romania in 2008,” says Vladimirescu.

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