Mastercard rolls out Messenger payment bots with US retailers

Masterpass Messenger bots
KEEP TALKING: Masterpass-enabled bots have launched on Facebook Messenger in the US

Subway, FreshDirect and The Cheesecake Factory have begun rolling out payment bots for Facebook Messenger across the US, allowing their customers to secure and complete payments using Mastercard’s Masterpass digital payment platform without having to leave the instant messaging service.

The retailers are the first to deploy Masterpass-enabled bots for Messenger which use artificial intelligence to enable consumers to interact with retailers, place orders and complete payments. The bots also support “all Masterpass-enabled wallets from banks including Citi and Capital One”, according to Mastercard.

“Masterpass-enabled bots have a wide variety of applications — from restaurants to retail — making conversational commerce frictionless, while delivering a more personalised experience,” the payment network says.

“Our bot for Messenger, deployed in more than 26,500 US Subway restaurants, is the largest deployment of a Messenger bot in the restaurant industry,” says Carman Wenkoff, Subway’s chief information and digital officer. “This is a new initiative in the quest to enhance the guest experience.”

New engagement channel

“Through this commerce-enabled bot we are able to leverage a new engagement channel with our guests,” adds David Gordon, president of The Cheesecake Factory. “The bot experience delivers the convenience of customising a gift card through Messenger integrated with Masterpass payment functionality to enable a simplified checkout experience.”

“Building automated and AI-driven capabilities like bots to conduct commerce will make it easier than ever to interact with people in new, engaging ways,” says vice president of Facebook Messenger David Marcus.

Facebook updated its Messenger bots to enable payments in September 2016. Mastercard unveiled plans to launch artificial intelligence bots for banks and merchants in October last year.