Houndify and Mastercard
Aug 31, 2020

Houndify to Power Mastercard’s Drive-Through Voice Ordering Feature for Quick Service Restaurants

We’re thrilled to announce a partnership with Mastercard to help restaurant and retail brands provide customers with a more secure and frictionless experience via AI Powered Drive Through solutions. The partnership has created voice-enabled drive-through solutions that deliver low-touch, high-engagement experiences for quick service restaurants (QSRs) and their customers. 

At a time when the impact of COVID-19 is motivating consumers to search for safer alternatives, Mastercard is looking to transform drive-through or drive-in interactions through vehicle recognition, voice ordering, and artificial intelligence.

According to a recent study by Capgemini, 84% of Americans now expect to increase their use of touchless technologies to avoid physical contact for the remainder of the pandemic, with 55% planning to continue doing so afterward. More than two-thirds (69%) of retail executives also expect enthusiasm for contactless options will continue.

84% of Americans now expect to increase their use of touchless technologies to avoid physical contact for the remainder of the pandemic.

Safer, touchless in-person interactions

This partnership is part of Mastercard’s new suite of solutions for retailers to help reimagine physical shopping experiences, as brands worldwide continue to prioritize enhanced technology for safer in-person engagement. Applicable and adaptable to any retail environment—from restaurants to pharmacies —Mastercard’s Shop Anywhere and AI Powered Drive Through solutions reduce 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.

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. We’re committed to supporting our retail partners and are excited about our partnership with SoundHound Inc. to voice-enable a broad range of services to enhance the shopping experience.”

Stephane Wyper, Senior Vice President, Retail Innovation, Mastercard

This technology builds upon Mastercard and SoundHound Inc.’s joint commitment to the QSR environment. The AI Powered Drive Through technology will begin on-location pilots at White Castle locations in October 2020, and will be rolling out in other quick service restaurants later in the year. 

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.”

Susan Carroll-Boser, Vice President, Technology at White Castle

Voice AI solutions for quick service restaurants

Houndify’s Speech-to-Meaning ® and Deep Meaning Understanding™ technologies are uniquely positioned to reduce the friction and ease backups common at QSR ordering stations. Houndify’s advanced AI technologies enable the system to easily understand even complex orders, substitutions, and special requests quickly, accurately, and calmly—even during peak hours. Using Houndify, QSR patrons can order what they want with natural voice queries and confirm the accuracy of their orders, just as they would when talking to a human. 

Voice-enabled ordering kiosks

For example, a customer can say: 

Can I get the hamburger combo, extra large, no pickles, add onions and mayonnaise, substitute the drink for a milkshake, and give me a side of chicken nuggets with hot mustard dipping sauce.” 

The voice ordering system will quickly understand and repeat the order, letting the customer know if any of the items are unavailable. The customer can then add items and modify the order at any time by saying things like:

“Add a medium fries to that order and change the vanilla milkshake to chocolate.”

Houndify’s conversational intelligence maintains context without requiring the user to repeat previous inputs.

New Houndify voice AI partnerships across industries

Houndify is proud to be a partner of Mastercard as they continue to invest in innovation solutions to offer retailers best-in-class solutions that combine scale, security, and infrastructure to enhance the shopping experience. 

We are thrilled to be partnering with Mastercard as part of their retail initiatives to deliver this timely innovation for retail brands and the end consumer. Consumers today believe voice ordering makes their experiences more convenient and less stressful, and we look forward to helping Mastercard deliver frictionless service, convenience, and customer safety.

Amir Arbabi, Vice President, Business Development at SoundHound Inc.

Read more about the partnership between SoundHound Inc. and Mastercard here.

Recently, SoundHound Inc. also announced partnerships to bring the power of voice AI to the Snapchat App and Honda’s newest cars in Europe. Other partnerships include Mercedes-Benz, Pandora, Deutsche Telekom, and Hyundai. 

Developers interested in exploring Houndify’s independent voice AI platform can visit Houndify.com to learn more and register for a free account.

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