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All Russian banks to connect to Unified Biometric System by end of 2019


By the end of 2019, all Russian bank branches are required to submit customer data to the national Unified Biometric System, and the incoming requirements may impose a significant cost on Russian banks, FinanceFeeds reports.

Russian newspaper Kommersant published estimates by experts in the country, reported by FinanceFeeds, suggesting that the minimum expense for the system is RUB 4 million (US$58,000) for a bank with a single branch. The estimate is based on the basic elements the system requires, including an HSM module, operating system, and anti-virus software, and does not include the RUB 800,000 (roughly $11,600) banks are expected to allocate to annual maintenance. For each additional branch, the system will cost an estimated RUB 130,000 ($1900) extra.

Banks are required to connect 20 percent of their branches to the system by January 1, 2019, and 60 percent by July 1, though Rostelecom said at the start of August that less than 10 percent of banks were transferring biometric data to the system, and only 1,200 individual’s data had been entered.

The biometric system is intended to enable secure remote banking services, such as money transfers. FinanceFeeds reports that photographs and voiceprints are usually being collected by banks, rather than fingerprints, due to the ease and low cost of doing so.

Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, was reported to be achieving biometric authentication accuracy of 99.9 percent in testing over two years ago.

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