AI News, ZIVELO's Public Computing News artificial intelligence

Mastercard partners with Zivelo for voice-powered menu boards

Mastercard has partnered with Zivelo LLC to enhance the drive-in and drive-through ordering experience for quick-service restaurants with a first-of-its-kind AI-powered voice assistant and personalized dynamic menu.

The menu will automatically update using a proprietary AI solution developed by Mastercard, which will allow the display to be customized either for a specific customer or for external factors such as weather, time of day, seasonality and location.

'We are excited to be partnering with Zivelo to help QSR merchants further enhance their ordering experience to provide even more contextual interactions with their customers and ultimately allow them to get their food faster,' Stephane Wyper, senior vice president, new commerce partnerships, Mastercard, said in the press release.

'As customer expectation continues to move towards faster, personalized, and contextual experiences, we are excited to partner with Mastercard to bring this transformative solution to market and hopefully exceed those expectations.'

ACT Canada Driving Insights – May 2019

“Interac e-Transfer is the go-to way to move your money securely in Canada, as represented by the millions of people who use it each day for their personal and business affairs,” said Peter Maoloni, vice president, product and platform delivery, Interac in the press release.

“We think this offering with MasterCard and National Bank to offer a cross-border solution that will leverage the trust and reliability of the Interac e-Transfer brand, will be a game-changer in international remittance — making it easier for financial institutions to connect to the networks, and for their customers to move their money internationally.” According to MasterCard and Interac, Canada is a big market for international payments given its diverse population.

Whether it’s traveling abroad, sending money to family or friends overseas, or purchasing products from a business in another country, the ability to move funds across borders quickly, easily and securely is becoming a must-have,” Ramesh Jayakrishnan, director of push payments for MasterCard in Canada, said in the same press release.

This new offering will connect banks to MasterCard Send to help improve customer experience and future-proof their cross-border payment service, all while using the existing Interac e-Transfer platform.” MasterCard and Interac said the service will be rolled out to other financial institutions in Canada in which they can enable customers to send money to international bank accounts, and down the road to mobile wallets and cards.

The federal government has unveiled a 10-principle Digital Charter that promises to apply to future legislation and regulation, including the suggestion of unspecified serious fines to the private sector for not protecting privacy.

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, who announced the digital charter today before the Empire Club in Toronto, also said as part of the Charter the government will shortly announce steps to ensure the integrity of democratic institutions and reduce threats from hate and cyber bullying.

There is no proposal to add a so-called right to forget in PIPEDA,  a right included in the GDPR to ask organizations to de-index certain information — like a news story on an old criminal charge, bankruptcy or divorce — so it doesn’t come up first in a search.

As we saw in the Facebook-Cambridge scandal, a lack of respect for privacy rights can lead to very real harms, such as attempts to influence voters in an election.” Halifax privacy lawyer David Fraser wasn’t surprised Bains’ announcement lacked detail.

A recent initiative undertaken by the Government of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to advance public safety measures has led to the digitalization of biometric records across the country which will allow for faster and more accurate criminal and civil identity checks.

After 19 years of working with Canadian local and national law enforcement agencies to provide biometric security services and solutions, we are proud to deliver this important security capability to the Department of National Defence,” said Rob Cimperman, Vice President Government Programs at Thales.

Led by Dan Doctoroff, ex-deputy mayor of New York, working with a team of both government and digital experts, Sidewalk Labs promised a radical mix of offices, retail and makerspaces with a green agenda, robots and underground waste disposal.

She told the BBC that those gathered had a range of concerns, from the lack of transparency in the way Toronto Waterfront had awarded the contract to Sidewalk Labs, to doubts about whether the firm has a proven track record in delivering such an ambitious project.

The idea of the increasingly blurred lines between private firm and public government has a lot of people 'very worried', said Dr Anthony Townsend, urban planner and author of a series of books on smart cities.

Today, Rogers announced its plan to launch Narrow-Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT), a network technology that allows stationary IoT devices and sensors to send and receive small amounts of data over long distances, with very low power requirements.

“With the launch of NB-IoT, we are complementing our national LTE-M network, providing choice to our customers, and empowering innovation by enabling reliable, low power, low cost, and secure IoT solutions.” NB-IoT is complementary to Rogers national LTE and LTE-M networks, which are available to IoT customers across Canada, with additional sites continuously being added, starting with Ontario.

Rogers is offering two choices to customers for low power, wide area networks, making innovative IoT solutions more accessible for Canadian businesses, to help them save money and time.

This network technology is ideal for IoT devices that generate and receive small amounts of data, have low power requirements and/or have a long life cycle, such as Stationary Asset Monitoring, Industrial Automation, Smart Meters, in-building and Smart City applications.

Some use them to access in-app discounts (46.8 percent do this), some use them to look up product information (43.3 percent) and others simply use them to compare prices at competing merchants (33.6).

In the 2019 edition of the Remote Payments Study, PYMNTS collected and analyzed survey data from 2,300 American consumers to get an in-depth look at how they use an assortment of connected devices — and especially the smartphone — to browse, shop and buy items online and in-store.

Regardless of whether a consumer is shopping in-store or remotely, smartphones are helping make their payments faster and more convenient — mainly by allowing their browsers and mobile apps to store their payment information.

Of all of the announcements and discussions at Facebook’s F8 conference earlier this month, a little-noticed session documenting the company’s efforts to move its AI-powered content moderation directly to users’ phones is perhaps one of the most Orwellian AI-related announcements in recent memory, even by Facebook’s surveillance state standards.

Yet, perhaps the most frightening aspect of that presentation was a brief set of remarks by one of Facebook’s engineers that, while not mentioning encryption explicitly, bears heavily on the fate of end-to-end encryption in a world where Facebook need to be able to bypass that encryption to harvest that protected content for its own AI training needs.

In Facebook’s presentation about its edge AI efforts earlier this month, the company touted the benefits of moving its deep learning-powered content moderation algorithms directly onto users' phones and how in the future that would permit it to prevent unapproved content from ever being shared or communicated to others in the first place.

The problem with performing content moderation directly on users’ devices, according to Facebook, is not the technical issue of actually running the algorithms within the constraints of small power-limited mobile devices, but the fact that it will no longer have its own copy of that content to train better AI algorithms and verify their performance.

In contrast, if Facebook were to start scanning your photos directly on your phone, if its algorithms flagged one as a violation of its acceptable speech policies, it would have no knowledge that there was an attempted violation nor any copy of the offending content, since the scanning occurred entirely on your phone.

The company notes the importance of being able to access content that is stored only locally on your device, such as would be the case with an end-to-end encrypted messaging platform like WhatsApp in which only the sender and recipient of a message have access to its unencrypted contents.

The company raises the dual issues of alerts and access to protected content that the user has taken great steps not to share with the company (and which the user might rightfully assume cannot be accessed by the company due to Facebook’s claims of end-to-end encryption being privacy-protecting) but does not offer any suggestions of how it plans to address either issue.

The most likely scenario would be that even in end-to-end encrypted messaging platforms like WhatsApp, an attempt to send an encrypted message containing a post that Facebook’s algorithms running locally on the phone flag as prohibited, would result in an alert being sent to Facebook and a copy of that post being sent to Facebook for its review and use in training its AI algorithms.

Given that a user blocked from sending a prohibited post would be unlikely to click “Yes” on a popup asking them if they would be willing to share their prohibited content with Facebook to help train its algorithms, such transmission of the unencrypted content back to Facebook would likely have to be done without the user’s explicit knowledge.

An alternative possibility would be that instead of sending a copy of offending content back to its central data centers, perhaps Facebook’s deep learning moderation algorithms of the future could be trained in distributed fashion directly on users' devices.

Rather than clusters of tens of thousands of GPUs in centralized data centers crunching through two billion users’ private information, that information would be processed at rest across tens of billions of user devices.

When Facebook’s moderation algorithms of the future flag a post as being prohibited, instead of sending a copy back to their central data center, perhaps a training algorithm could run directly on the user’s phone to analyze the content along predefined dimensions.

This raises the question of whether our current approach to building the massive deep learning algorithms that power our digital society could eventually be built using our data at rest on our own devices, rather than requiring our data to be mass harvested and centralized for training purposes.

In this case, each time on-phone moderation algorithms flag a post, other on-device training algorithms improve Facebook's moderation algorithms using that post as part of a distributed training process.

Putting this all together, Facebook’s research on edge AI reminds us that the company’s public utopian vision of absolute privacy enforced through end-to-end encryption collides directly with its need to mass harvest our personal data to train its massive deep learning algorithms.

While consumers will likely notice that 5G enables lightning fast downloads, connects millions of “Internet of Things” devices to one another, and removes the lag in their video chats, they may not realize that 5G will also be a key factor in enhancing their banking experience.

By leveraging the speed and capacity in this new wireless world, banks that invest in tools to combine artificial intelligence, data and 5G will be able to run many parallel processes in real time.

And thanks to 5G’s high-resolution streaming capabilities, customers will have real-time access to video consultations with financial representatives – both virtual and human – who can help them make informed financing decisions.

As soon as a customer initiates a mobile payment transaction, banks will able to more rapidly comb through data like geolocation, transaction amount, and the merchant ID to reduce fraud detection errors.

The arrival of 5G will also promote increased use of multimodal biometric security measures that combine nuances like a customer’s gait and position in which he holds a mobile phone to make a payment to validate a mobile user’s identity.

Direct-to-consumer banks have made it easier for consumers to bank when, where and how they want, and 63 percent of customers who use a direct bank report being “extremely satisfied.” Yet, there remain millions of people around the world who live in rural areas and lack access to high-speed broadband.

As 5G becomes more prevalent and affordable, it will help enable a richer digital banking experience through virtual reality-based customer service, financial advice and wealth management support—all of which could improve financial inclusion in historically underserved areas.

The underlying idea made sense: creating digital versions of paper documents like private real estate investments and company stock would make them more portable and liquid, driving up demand.

Over the past year, while the crypto market dropped steeply, it became clear that simply converting an illiquid paper security into a digital asset wouldn’t boost interest.

Dovey Wan, a crypto investor and cofounder of blockchain holding company Primitive Ventures, says, “A real estate security token offering should be led by an existing real estate or REIT firm, where supply inventory can be guaranteed, and demand can come from existing channels.”

“People have realized that yelling the word token is not a substitute for a good investment or distribution channels.” In April, a $20 million security token offering led by Harbor was canceled after the participating real estate firm, Convexity Properties, couldn’t get favorable terms on the loan it was using to finance the deal.

FIs looking to improve their KYC and AML processes are debating whether to add biometric solutions to their arsenals, including whether applying this additional layer of security outweighs the risks should something go wrong.

The effort, focused on state benefits programs, features an embedded fingerprint sensor that provides an additional layer of security to conveniently verify the cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases.

The biometric features can be implemented on any MasterCard card product (credit, debit, prepaid) and work with existing EMV card terminals globally, helping merchants enhance the shopping experience without requiring any hardware or software upgrades.

“This trial allows MasterCard and Edenred to support financial inclusion and implement new technology, in partnership with the Mexican state social welfare agency in Sonora, demonstrating the true value of public-private partnerships in delivering meaningful programs.

It’s an unforgiving environment where people are famously told not to look too long at other riders, so you can imagine the frustrations in store if those payments should fail while someone is trying to catch a subway to work.

That might sound like PR hype, but think about it from the point of big-city consumers – the rush for a bus or subway is often fraught with anxiety and anticipation, and there are always those times when a closed-loop fare payment method is out of funds right when that rush hour train is pulling into the station, or times when the contact fare technology sputters a bit, delaying the line past the turnstiles and causing people to miss their trains.

As well, 83 percent of consumers said they’ve had trouble getting their fare cards to work at turnstiles, and 66 percent have left funds on transit cards (the definition of leaving money on the table).

As Sanford told Webster, the best messaging Visa can do around contactless is just directing consumers to places where it’s been implemented – including retail stores, not just mass transit stations – and make sure it works.

Globally, of course, tapping to pay with contactless cards has already taken off: According to figures from Sanford during the PYMNTS interview, 48 percent of “face-to-face transactions” outside the U.S. involve contactless payment cards or other contactless payment methods.

When it moved from closed-loop payments to open-loop contactless, Sanford said, “it just blew past everyone’s wildest expectations of just how quickly” consumers would gravitate to such payments in a busy, high-energy, little-room-for-error environment.

Now, he said, “New York is leading the charge in the U.S.” Whenever mass-transit systems change over their payment methods, there is often a period of time when station agents need to be on hand to educate consumers about using the new fare options.

But success with contactless there – enabling consumers to pay not only for fares, but also such goods as coffee and snacks – could go a long way toward promoting other uses of contactless in other parts of the country.

'A hacker might put the number 0 in place of the letter O,' Duchesneau explains, continuing 'in other cases, they may display the correct website in text but hyperlink to another web address, which is only revealed if users take care to hover over the link.'

Obviously it should come as no surprise that Duchesneau was keen to suggest Chrome's password manager as being a good example, promoting security 'by allowing users to set those unique, complex passwords without having to remember them across sites on their own.'

While 90% of traffic using the Google Chrome web browser on Windows is now encrypted, with 89% of the top 100 non-Google sites on the web defaulting to HTTPS, 42% of those questioned didn't even know there was a difference between sites whose address starts with HTTP and HTTPS.

'What this means for website owners who build on these domains is that they don't need to do the extra work of adding their sites to the list,' Duchesneau explains, 'the extra security is built-in and their website can never be accessed without an encrypted connection.'

People today are juggling multiple passwords and documents in an attempt to keep their identifying data and money safe.  They have to repeatedly provide large amounts of personal information to numerous agents, and the more it is shared, the greater the risk.  They lack control over their personal identity data and where they do have rights, there is often little transparency.

Our collaboration with Samsung advances a digital identity solution that is bound to a trusted device – the mobile phone – which is used by millions of people every day.” People will soon be able to access a digital identity capability on their devices for interactions in both the physical and digital worlds.

This will provide consumers with a more efficient way to interact with businesses and service providers, whether opening a bank account, accessing e-mail and social media, video streaming or shopping online.

“At Samsung, we believe consumers should be in complete control of the privacy and security of their personal identity and we’re excited to work with MasterCard to bring the first digital identity solution to Samsung smartphones,” said Yongje Kim, EVP and head of service business office at Samsung Electronics Mobile Division.

The collaboration with Samsung builds on MasterCard's commitment to improve how people manage and use their digital identity, and follows the publication of the company’s model for digital identity in an increasingly connected world.  The model is founded on user-centric principles such as data ownership, confidentiality, consent and transparency, embodies privacy-by-design and does not collect identity data.

Flexiti Financial, a leading provider of point-of-sale consumer financing solutions for retailers announced today that JYSK, a fast-growing home furnishings retailer offering products with Scandinavian influence, has signed a long-term agreement to leverage its point-of-sale financing technology.

Flexiti's mobile, fully automated and 100% paperless financing solution provides customers with quick and easy access to revolving credit and flexible payment options, including 0% financing.

The application takes only a few minutes and grants qualified customers a private label credit card usable within Flexiti's network of nearly 4,000 retail locations across Canada.

Flexiti's omni-channel financing solution is a proven sales driver with retailers in all verticals experiencing a 200% to 380% rise in financed sales volumes after migrating from previous financing platforms.

Flexiti's simple and efficient solution becomes a valuable sales tool for retail staff that increases average purchase sizes, builds brand loyalty and encourages repeat store visits.

The collected data showed that 70 percent of consumers are very satisfied with their credit cards with no annual fee, while in contrast, only 35 percent of respondents said they are equally satisfied with their credit cards that require an annual fee.

The survey found that 66 percent of consumers said a credit card’s annual fee factors into their selection of it, and similarly, 60 percent said having no annual fee is a very important factor when they choose a card.

Older consumers are more likely to consider switching to a new credit card because they do not want to pay the annual fee – 78 percent of pre-boomers, 67 percent of baby boomers and 58 percent of Gen X, compared to 46 percent of millennials and 41 percent of post-millennials.

“Our survey found that the most popular benefits for paying an annual fee are to receive cash-back rewards (52 percent) and travel benefits/rewards (48 percent),” said Andrew Hopkins, senior vice president of marketing at Discover.

“We don’t think our card members should have to pay a fee to get great perks, which is why we provide a full suite of credit cards with a variety of benefits, all without annual fees.”1

When it comes to paying annual fees, younger generations are more likely to participate, as 59 percent of post-millennials and 52 percent of millennials have a credit card with an annual fee, compared to 47 percent of Gen X, 43 percent of pre-boomers and 41 percent of baby boomers.

Thirty-seven percent of overall respondents said they have closed a credit card due to the annual fee, and about one-third, 32 percent, said their one-year anniversary with the card is typically when they regret paying the annual fee.

Lyft Direct Debit, a new co-branded debit card and bank account issued by Stride Bank and powered by Payfare, strengthens drivers’ economic security with hand-picked benefits, including immediate access to their earnings, secure, no-fee bank accounts and cashback on everyday purchases.

“The growing gig economy creates an exciting opportunity for us to leverage our tech infrastructure, digital payments expertise and data-backed insights to help gig workers achieve better and more secure financial futures,” said Sherri Haymond, executive vice president, Digital Partnerships, MasterCard.

MasterCard's commitment to helping gig workers unlock their financial potential is a key pillar of its inclusive growth program in North America, which offers specialized products and services for gig workers and next-generation workers.

The program leverages MasterCard technology and expertise to address the challenges of workers who juggle multiple jobs, variable paychecks and inconsistent benefits in three key areas, including digital solutions to manage finances and speed payments, government services for greater innovation and efficiency, and smart cities for a more digitally inclusive future.

Often   Rarely   Never Amazon                24%     18%     57% Starbucks             21%     20%     59% Walmart               20%     19%     60% Dunkin' Donuts    12%     15%     73% Chik-Fil-A             12%      13%     76% Kohl's                    11%      13%      76% Uber                      11%     23%     66% CVS                       10%     15%     74% Wendy's                7%      14%     79% Panera                   7%      13%     80% Source: Q2 2019 survey of 2,506 US consumers, Cornerstone Advisors

Through a single interface, a business owner can see their complete financial dashboard including upcoming payroll details, pending invoices and receivables, as well as access their day-to-day banking to manage upcoming payments and optimize their cash flow.

'We are introducing a valuable business intelligence tool to help clients manage their banking, accounting and payroll in one place, saving them time so that they can focus on achieving their growth ambitions.'

To accomplish this, CIBC integrates information from cloud accounting software companies Intuit Canada and Xero, and payroll software company Ceridian – services that are widely used by business owners, bookkeepers and accounting professionals – to help businesses make quick informed decisions, reconcile transactions and balance books.  'SmartBanking is the latest way we are innovating for business owners to make their lives easier,' added Mr. Turnbull.

CIBC SmartBanking for Business is available online and exclusively for iPad to download free on the App Store, with no monthly access fee.  The design includes an interactive dashboard with accounting data from Xero accounting software, access to powerful cash management services, such as wire payments, alerts and eStatements all within the SmartBanking app.

Collaborating with market leaders was key to bringing CIBC SmartBanking for Business to fruition -- from building API integration, creating secure sign on for easy navigation between applications, to developing mutual client consent models -- the platform was built with the support of organizations who know and understand the needs of today's accountants, bookkeepers and business owners.

'With 64 per cent of Canadian small businesses admitting to struggles with cash flow for their business, this collaboration with CIBC demonstrates how companies can come together for the financial benefit of Canadian small businesses, saving them time and finding innovative ways to tip the odds in their favour.'

MasterCard announced a partnership with ZIVELO, a leader in self-service kiosk technology, to enhance the drive-in and drive-through ordering experience for quick service restaurants (QSRs) with a first-of-its-kind AI-powered voice assistant and personalized dynamic menu.

The menu will automatically update using a proprietary AI solution developed by MasterCard, which will allow the display to be customized either for a specific customer or for external factors such as weather, time of day, seasonality and location.

“We are excited to be partnering with ZIVELO to help QSR merchants further enhance their ordering experience to provide even more contextual interactions with their customers and ultimately allow them to get their food faster,” said Stephane Wyper, senior vice president, new commerce partnerships, MasterCard.

“We see facets of our brand, our restaurants, and AI technology converging in a way that makes for a special customer experience.  Sonic is known for a fun environment and a full menu with extensive customization options that allows guests to personalize every meal,” said Jon Dorch, vice president of integrated customer engagement.

“Voice AI promises to provide carefree conversational ordering that complements the overall experience.  We anticipate AI integration will also provide opportunities to streamline repeat orders, personalize suggestions based on data, and offer rewards that are truly relevant.” The artificial intelligence engine that powers the voice ordering experience to provide a dynamic menu was developed through MasterCard Labs and can be adapted for the needs of each specific merchant partner.

The solution is built on OakOS, ZIVELO’s software operating system for public computing experiences, and relies on ZIVELO’s expertise within the self-service display industry, having successfully deployed tens of thousands of kiosks in restaurants to date.

“As customer expectation continues to move towards faster, personalized, and contextual experiences, we are excited to partner with MasterCard to bring this transformative solution to market and hopefully exceed those expectations.” The voice ordering experience and dynamic menu solution was designed by MasterCard and ZIVELO to be flexible for each unique quick service restaurant environment.

The IPO price was already almost a third less than what investment bankers had predicted last year, with Uber settling for a lower valuation amid a series of investor concerns including profitability and the lukewarm reception for rival Lyft's market debut.

She added: 'There are big challenges in the way - it has to drive its costs down, it has to push for the driverless car experience and all of those things are difficult to do while still growing 'But the headline is still that there was a great deal of excitement here, that this is a major milestone for Uber, which just opened 10 years ago and has changed the face of travel and has ambitions to change all sorts of other things too.'

Mastercard and ZIVELO Collaborate to Enhance AI-driven Ordering Experience for QSRs

Mastercard and ZIVELO teams up for developing new innovative voice AI powered ordering and dynamic menu experience at their drive-in locations Mastercard reported an association with ZIVELO, a self-service kiosk technology company, to upgrade the drive-in and drive-through ordering experience for quick service restaurants (QSRs) with a first-of-its-kind AI-powered voice assistant and customized dynamic menu.

This builds on Mastercard’s continued focus on leveraging our payment, loyalty and analytics capabilities to innovate within the retail space alongside our merchant and technology partners.” The artificial intelligence engine that controls the voice ordering knowledge to give a dynamic menu was built through Mastercard Labs and can be adapted for the necessities of every vendor partner.