Meet Pizza Hut's latest employee - a robot which will take your order and process payment

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SINGAPORE - The concept of fast food will be taken to a new level at Pizza Hut with the introduction of a robot which will take your order and process payment - all in the name of quicker service.

From Wednesday (March 14) to Sunday, diners at Pizza Hut's Safra Punggol outlet will be the first in South-east Asia to be able to try out the new technology.

After the five-day trial, Pizza Hut will take customers' feedback before deciding if the robot, which has a female voice and greets patrons with a "hello", stays at the outlet.

To place an order, customers first have to greet the robot and pair their Mastercard Masterpass account embedded in the Pizza Hut Singapore mobile app.

They can then verbally tell the robot their orders and show a QR code that will provide their table information. Payments are made using Masterpass. The robot is also not exposed to payment instruments or customer credentials, which minimises the chance of sensitive information being compromised.

The robot will be helping to assist customers in Pizza Hut alongside other staff members currently working at the outlet.

"This initiative gives people more choices without ever compromising security and provides more reasons for people to go cashless," said Mr Tobias Puehse, vice-president, Labs at Mastercard Asia Pacific.

The robot is developed by Japan-based SoftBank Robotics, makers of the "Pepper" robot which has been used in customer service and retail.

"We are focusing on how robots can assist the way people live right now. The humanoid robot is an add-on to the value provided," said Mr Kan Kiyota, SoftBank's marketing director.

Both Mastercard and SoftBank hope that the launch of the robot in Singapore will accelerate the evolution of payments in the digital age for a better consumer experience.

"Singapore is an innovation hub and we are really proud to bring this here," said Mr Puehse.

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