Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the food service sector by helping restaurants boost their sales as well as improve and automate systems that were once managed by staff. It can also serve as a powerful tool in restaurants’ fight against fraud, which is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue as bad actors target the flood of customers using digital channels during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The health crisis has forced some eateries to close entirely, while others must operate at reduced capacities depending on state and local restrictions. Perhaps the one bright spot has been the surge in mobile ordering, with customers’ use of restaurant apps skyrocketing and helping restaurants make up for some of the income they have lost to pared-back dine-in sales. This increase has made the space more appealing to fraudsters, however, who aim to blend in among legitimate consumers to perpetrate their misdeeds.
The November Mobile Order-Ahead Tracker(R) explores the impact of AI and how eateries are using the technology to ease their operations, personalize customer offers and fight fraud.
Around The Mobile Order-Ahead World
Payment protection platform Verifi has partnered with digital fraud protection firm Kount Inc. to provide its dispute management solutions to the latter’s security platform. Verifi said its Inform solution offers fraud and dispute alert notifications and allows merchants to manage disputes and prevent chargebacks. Integrating Verifi’s solutions will allow Kount’s fraud prevention and identity platform to offer restaurants and businesses near-instant payment protection.
Card network Mastercard and California-based AI and speech recognition company SoundHound have partnered to establish a voice-based, drive-thru solution for quick-service restaurants (QSRs). The companies said the service aims to transform these interactions by using voice ordering and AI, offering drive-thru customers seamless experiences and faster-moving lines. The voice and AI technology allows the ordering system to quickly and accurately analyze and process complicated orders that might include substitutions or special requests.
Canada-based point-of-sale (POS) and eCommerce software provider Lightspeed recently announced the release of Order Ahead, an online ordering management system designed for takeout orders. The platform enables restaurants across North America to offer customers contactless dining experiences by integrating their takeout channels into their existing POS systems. Merchants can also use the platform to send order and delivery updates via text message, further enhancing the mobile experience.
For more on these stories and other mobile order-ahead headlines download this month’s Tracker.
Boston Market On The Fraud-Fighting, Customer Service-Enhancing Power Of AI
More restaurants are turning to advanced technologies like AI to boost sales, ease ordering and enable contactless payments, but these tools can also help eateries combat fraud. This is especially true as consumers increasingly turn to mobile and digital ordering channels to engage with restaurants during the pandemic. In this month’s Feature Story, PYMNTS spoke to Slaton Smith, chief marketing officer at Boston Market, about why the chain is testing AI and what it hopes to achieve by incorporating the technology into its marketing efforts and leveraging it in the fight against fraud.
Smartphones and other electronic devices have made it possible for customers to place restaurant orders using various channels and payment methods. These digital and mobile ordering methods are a hit with consumers, but they are also drawing unwanted attention from fraudsters. Bad actors are eager to capitalize on eateries’ strained resources during the pandemic and blend in with the influx of consumers migrating to these new channels. One technology could be particularly useful in helping restaurants ferret out these fraudsters: AI. This month’s Deep Dive explores how restaurants are leveraging the technology to simultaneously quash fraud and enhance their customer service.
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