SoundHound, Mastercard to Voice-Enable Consumer Shopping Experiences

SoundHound Inc., the innovator in voice AI and conversational intelligence technologies, has 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, the company said.

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.

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.

Mastercard is deploying these new solutions with 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 enables 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.