Russian stores to introduce facial recognition payments

Sberbank customers will not have to use cash or even credit cards to pay in Perekrestok stores. 

Instead, they will be able to use their biometric data, RBC reports. Currently, Sberbank holds the largest database of biometric data in Russia which already includes millions of accounts (the company does not disclose the precise number).

For comparison, the Integrated Biometric System, launched by the government in 2018, has not yet reached 200,000 accounts. Customers who submitted their biometrics to the Integrated Biometric System will also be able to use facial pay. It is expected that as soon as in April, Pyaterochka, which is part of the same retail group as Perekrestok, will also be equipped for biometric payments.

Visa is the project’s strategic partner. The payment technology using biometric identification is based on a technology by VisionLabs and X5 Innovation Lab solutions.

As we previously reported, Russians are quite cautious about the security of their biometric data and, therefore, hesitate to submit them to the Integrated Biometric System or to banks’ own biometric databases. The government could stimulate expansion of biometric databases by restricting provision of some public services to those who submitted their biometrics.

Customers can submit their biometric face image at a Sberbank branch or via the Sberbank Online app.

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