Mastercard's Masterpass.

Mastercard announced today at the Facebook Developer Conference the release of its newest customer service strategy — a Masterpass-enabled bot via Facebook Messenger. The chatbot will encourage customers at The Cheesecake Factory, Subway and FreshDirect to order through the messenger platform for a frictionless shopping experience.

Using artificial intelligence, the bots facilitate consumers to connect directly with merchants to build and safely checkout via Masterpass without needing to stray from the popular messenger. The strategy is an effort to align with consumers where they heavily spend their time: social media. The bots will support Masterpass-enabled wallets from banks such as Citi and Capital One.

“The Mastercard vision is to support all forms of commerce — addressing the full range of merchant experiences and consumer needs, and ensuring that every one of our accounts is as digital as the people using them. Masterpass-enabled bots on Messenger offer both merchants and consumers innovative, compelling and secure digital payments on an extremely popular and active platform,” said Garry Lyons, chief innovation officer of Mastercard.

This isn’t the first bot deployed by Mastercard. Earlier this year, it opened its Masterpass Chatbot API on its developer platform to support merchants in their experimentation with the technology while also expanding its solutions through multiple channels.

Retailers and brands are turning the corner to embrace new technologies and solutions for enhanced consumer experiences while increasing opportunities to capture real-time data on shopping behaviors. Just today teen retailer announced its virtual stylist bot, also available via Facebook messenger.

“Our bot for Messenger, deployed in more than 26,500 U.S. Subway restaurants, is the largest deployment of a Messenger bot in the restaurant industry. We’re proud to offer our guests an innovative new way to order and pay outside the restaurants,” said Carman Wenkoff, Subway’s chief information and digital officer. “This is a new initiative in the quest to enhance the guest experience.”

As consumers begin to shift more of their perusal to mobile devices while also crowd-sourcing product popularity before completing a purchase, providing streamlined bots to bolster secure and seamless checkouts will build brand loyalty from nothing if not convenience and intuitive item discovery.

More on Chatbots from WWD:

A Cheat Sheet for Chatbots

AI-Powered Chatbot Service Claire Attracts $1.7M

Think Tank: What Sephora Learned From Building a Chatbot With Kik

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