Mastercard unveiled two solutions set to help retailers digitize and simplify operations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Shop Anywhere. Mastercard partnered with Accel Robotics to develop AI and computer vision technology that will allow customers to shop and pay without waits or checkout lines, creating an experience similar to autonomous checkout. It'll partner with Circle K, Delaware North, and one Dunkin' location to test the technology beginning in October.
AI Powered Drive Through. The solution enables restaurants to offer customers personalized or dynamic menus on their mobile devices, based on store preferences, historical ordering trends, or other inputs. It can eliminate employee-led ordering and speed up wait times, and will be piloted at White Castle and other undisclosed quick-service chains this fall.
The new solutions might make Mastercard an attractive partner as the pandemic changes retail preferences and habits.Though in-store shopping is beginning to rebound from lows in April, customers remain wary: 32% of shoppers feel unsafe at shopping malls, 20% at warehouse clubs, and 18% at big box stores, per retail predictive analytics company First Insight. Mastercard's solutions could make customers more comfortable by speeding up processes, allowing retailers to reduce capacity, and decreasing physical contact. And they might be popular as customers, who were already interested in retail technology innovations, warm to mobile shopping — in turn driving a slew of new merchant partners to Mastercard and boosting its presence in the space.