The buyer will pay for the products by face

Even before the end of 2020, Russia can launch payments in stores and cafes using face and voice biometrics.


It will soon be possible to pay in cafes and shops using face and voice biometrics. The corresponding technologies are planned to be launched in Russia before the end of 2020, Izvestia writes. The information was confirmed by Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the RF State Duma Committee on the Financial Market. He said that amendments to the law, which increase the number of applications for biometrics and clarify requirements for data security, will be adopted in the foreseeable future.

In the first reading, the bill was approved back in July 2019, but then its consideration was suspended. Today, facial images and voice recordings from the state unified biometric system (UBS) can only be used for remote opening of deposits, and the expansion of the capabilities of this system is planned immediately after the adoption of the law. Anatoly Aksakov = also clarified that the new version of the law will spell out the requirements for any collected biometrics, including for the internal databases of banks.

In terms of clarifying the rules for storing and processing data, credit institutions and Rostelecom (which is the operator of the EBS) will be given time to bring the systems in line. Rostelecom believes that this is when banks will be able to fully implement biometric acquiring. It is noted that biometric payment reduces the time of servicing one client at the checkout from 20 to 5 seconds. Pilot projects on biometric acquiring are already being prepared in Lenta hypermarkets, Coffee Bean, X5 Retail Group, VTB, Rosselkhozbank, and DOM.RF.

Biometrics when paying for purchases in offline retail is already being introduced not only in the West but also in Russia, admits Vladislav Bulochnikov, the founder of the cryptocurrency neobank Chatex. For example, in the UK, purchases can be paid using a smartphone with a fingerprint identification function – if there were 35% of such transactions in England in 2017, then in 2018 it was already 48% (among those who have such smartphones). Acuity Market Intelligence predicts that biometrics will be used to confirm 1 trillion transactions per year by 2022.

In Russia, the technology of paying for purchases using face-scanning was tested at the beginning of this year in Lenta supermarkets – while this service is available to customers with VTB cards. The bank, in turn, is testing the system using the EBS, and the operator is Rostelecom. On an industrial scale, the biometric system of payment for purchases is planned to be introduced by the end of this year. Ak Bars Bank and Raiffeisenbank also began testing customer identification when paying for purchases in stores. Raiffeisenbank is already using this technology through the Selfie-To-Pay app when paying at Papa John’s, Farsh burger shops, and Magnit stores.

To make such a payment, it is enough to look into the camera installed at the supermarket checkout – the computer screen is installed in the cashier’s work area, says Vladislav Bulochnikov. When confirming the identity of the buyer, the cashier just needs to press a couple of buttons to make the payment. The procedure for paying for goods at the checkout is reduced several times, but this payment method is available only to those who have passed their biometric data to the bank.

The process of non-cash payments and the increasing development of online sales are the nearest prospects for trade and the service sector, the expert is sure. Digitalization, the use of biometrics is a fait accompli, technologies are being introduced gradually and everywhere, and an increasing number of users and buyers are using such tools.

Biometrics solves a rather important problem – remote identification of a person, which is required everywhere, says a leading analyst at Forex Optimum Ivan Kapustyansky. The introduction of such identification will make it possible to remotely carry out a lot of operations, for example, open remote bank accounts, receive government services remotely, etc. This innovation will speed up economic processes because a person will no longer need to visit a number of organizations in person, but it may be possible to solve problems remotely.

Accordingly, the expert concludes, people will free up additional time, which they will direct to another area of ​​economic life. Also, for sure, after the introduction of these technologies, the need for certain professions will decrease. Free hands will be freed, which will be sent to do other work. The introduction of such innovations is one of the engines of economic growth – population growth and scientific and technological progress.

After the full legalization of biometrics, first of all, financial organizations will actively introduce it in their own countries. This technology, as described above, not only improves the service for the client but also optimizes the business by reducing the number of employees. That is, companies will be able to reduce costs by reducing staff. Therefore, in the financial sector, we can say that biometrics will become a new reality.

The pandemic will undoubtedly speed up the process of adopting this law, says Ivan Kapustyansky. It is likely that it will be introduced before the end of the year. Rapid deployment of the system, at least within the banking system, will reduce the number of people in offices, and, accordingly, reduce the incidence of diseases.

In addition to banks, those organizations that have many offices for receiving documents will actively introduce biometrics, the analyst adds. The state is such an organization. Accordingly, biometrics can begin to be implemented in the MFC, and over time, all the services that the MFC provides within the “one window” can be provided via the Internet.

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