SoundHound Inc., the leading innovator in voice AI and conversational intelligence technologies, today announced a partnership with Mastercard, the global technology company in the payments industry, to develop 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 seek safer alternatives, Mastercard is looking to transform drive-through and drive-in interactions through vehicle recognition, voice ordering, and artificial intelligence.
Houndify’s Speech-to-Meaning® and Deep Meaning Understanding™ technologies are uniquely positioned to reduce friction and ease backups common at QSR drive-through stations. Houndify’s advanced voice AI technologies enable the system to understand complex orders, substitutions, and special requests quickly and accurately—even during peak hours. QSR patrons can order what they want with natural voice queries, and confirm the accuracy of their orders, just like they were talking to a human.
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 vanilla 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: “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.
“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,” said Amir Arbabi, VP of Business Development at SoundHound Inc. “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.”
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 and more efficient 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,” said Stephane Wyper, Senior Vice President, Retail Innovation, Mastercard. “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 physical shopping experience.”
Mastercard is deploying these new solutions with leading retailers along with sports, entertainment and hospitality partners including Circle K, Delaware North, Dunkin’ and White Castle. The AI Powered Drive Through technology will begin pilots at White Castle locations in October 2020, and will be rolling out to other quick service restaurants later in the year.
SoundHound Inc. is proud to be a partner of Mastercard as they continue to offer retailers best-in-class, innovative solutions that combine scale, security, and infrastructure to enhance the shopping experience. To learn more about how Houndify is voice-enabling Mastercard’s AI Powered Drive Through, visit SoundHound Inc.’s Speech-to-Meaning blog.
About SoundHound Inc.
At SoundHound Inc., we believe every brand should have a voice. As a leading innovator of conversational technologies, we’re trusted by brands around the globe. Houndify, our independent Voice AI platform, allows developers to build a custom voice assistant with a branded wake word for any product or service. Our proprietary Speech-to-Meaning™ engine produces results with unprecedented speed and accuracy. Our mission is to enable humans to interact with the things around them like we interact with each other: by speaking naturally to phones, cars, smart speakers, mobile apps, coffee machines, and every part of the emerging ‘voice-first’ world.