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How Mastercard Opened the Door to Voice-First Experiences for Restaurants and Retailers

Everyone has heard of Mastercard, right? A number of you likely have one in your wallet. And some of you may have one in your wallet app. But for the folks at Mastercard, the digital revolution didn’t end with digital wallets. Mastercard is making a push for voice tech to enter the payment processing space.

Pete Balsavias, senior vice president, Global Commerce Innovation at Mastercard, and Mike Zagorsek, COO of SoundHound, will join us at VOICE Global 2021 on June 16 to provide insights into the future of payment processing. They’ll discuss the role voice tech can play in that future and how to get there by focusing on strategic partnerships.

The vocal future of payment processing

Computer vision stores, virtual reality, and augmented reality are all part of that future. But it’s voice technology that will be the driver. As Mike Zagorsek states, “Part of transactions are interactions, and the ability for customers to better interact for commerce is multi-faceted, and a voice experience is really central to that.”

Mastercard recently announced a few key initiatives and programs. One of them is AI for quick-serve restaurants (QSR). It leverages artificial intelligence and voice tech to take customer orders from A to Z, including follow-up questions. Another is AI-powered frictionless payments for retail. Combining AI with computer vision means you could literally walk into a shop, select an item and pay for it without ever reaching for your wallet (or your phone).

Partnerships are key

Mastercard knows it’s not a voice company or even a computer or tech company. It’s a payment processor, but it does have several unique core competencies. So it was a natural move to find partners, work with them, and co-leverage their respective assets collaboratively to create something very compelling: a consumer journey.

What’s Pete Balsavias’ advice for businesses looking to leverage voice assets to improve the consumer journey? “Go in with transparency in mind. Stay true to your brand. It is a journey in which things evolve and lean on your partners.” Not everything needs to be developed in-house. Focus on your core competencies and form solid and strategic relationships. Building compelling customer experiences is a journey in itself.

Watch Pete Balsavias of Mastercard, and Mike Zagorsek from SoundHound live, June 16, during VOICE Global. Check the speaker lineup and join us for these and other engaging speakers across a variety of industries.