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Sberbank deploys fingerprint payments with grocery chain and reaches biometric registration goal


Russia’s Sberbank has partnered with supermarket chain Azbuka Vkusa to enable customers to pay with fingerprint biometrics at 20 stores in Moscow, according to a company announcement.

Customers can enroll their fingerprints and an associated payment card at checkout to make two-factor payments with a fingerprint scan and entering a password. The user is not required to have the card or a mobile device for future POS transactions at participating stores.

“Azbuka Vkusa makes every effort to provide its clients with innovations that make their shopping experience as comfortable as possible,” says Azbuka Vkusa Vice President for IT and Innovation Georgy Mikhailov. “Thanks to technology, biometric payments have already become part of everyday consumer behaviour. Increasing the number of stores that have biometric POS terminals will make the payment process fast, convenient and highly secure.”

The companies plan to deploy the biometric POS terminals to all Azbuka Vkusa and AV Daily minimarket locations within Moscow’s Third Ring Road this year.

“Sberbank continues to carry out its strategy to deploy biometric identification tools in banking processes,” comments Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank and Head of the Retail Business Block Svetlana Kirsanova. “Using biometrics in merchant acquiring not only lets people make payments without physical carriers, such as cards, smartphones and other gadgets, but also paves the way for new innovative customer service scenarios at retail chains.”

Sberbank also met a Russian government requirement to enable biometric registration for the country’s Unified Biometric System (UBS) at 20 percent of its branches, according to a separate announcement. The branches will also collect personal data for the Unified Identification and Authentication System (UIAS), which along with the UBS will be used to remote identification for financial and government services. Individuals will be able to use face and voice biometrics which both protect and significantly speed up the identification process, the company says.

“Sberbank’s inclusion in the UBS is the result of our enormous joint work with Rostelecom and Sberbank. Today, about 170 banks are connected to the system,” says Official Secretary and Deputy Minister for Communications and the Media of the Russian Federation Oleg Pak. “The extension of the UBS’s use is planned to optimise banks’ business processes and its application in other areas.”

Banks are required to connect 60 percent of their branches to the system by July 1, and the rest by the end of 2019.

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