Moscow Metro to introduce facial recognition system for fare payment

biometric facial recognition

Passengers using the Moscow Metro system in Russia will be able to pay their fares at all metro stations using face biometrics by the end of this year, according to the metro head of security, Andrei Kichigin.

A report by Bloomberg states that the facial recognition payment system has been on trial for some sections of the public transport system such as at automated gates and at ticket offices, and about 2,000 ‘FacePay’ passages have been successfully completed in the process.

With the system, individuals who have submitted their biometric information to their banks will have their bank cards debited once they show up in front of a terminal at the automated gates or ticket booths. The gate will then open after the debit in a process compared to the Apple Pay system using a smartphone.

The public facial recognition system in the Russian capital is one of the biggest in the world, and has also been used by the government in enforcing COVID-19 quarantine orders.

Metro camera network being extended

The public transportation system’s biometric camera network is being extended to hundreds of multimedia screens, according to a February announcement.

Meanwhile, Russian news agency TASS quoted the head of Moscow’s metro security as revealing that since the facial recognition solution was installed in some sections of the metro system, over 900 individuals have been arrested by the police on suspicion of various crimes.

The arrests were reportedly made within a period of just six months, from when the pilot of the system kicked off in September 2020.

Kichigin told TASS the system does not store personal data. “It only checks people who are wanted, if a person is in the law enforcement database. If they are not there, there is nothing to compare to,” he stated.

TASS also quoted an IT expert, who underscored the importance of the facial recognition system, saying among other benefits it presents law enforcement officers with more opportunities in the conduct of criminal searches.

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