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PayByFace, VisionLabs face biometrics deployments for retail payments showcase regional demand

Bulgarian bank and Russian grocery chain partner up for facial recognition at POS
PayByFace, VisionLabs face biometrics deployments for retail payments showcase regional demand

Bulgaria’s Raiffeisenbank has begun testing touchless payments with face biometrics from PayByFace through the Visa Innovation Program.

The bank intends to evaluate the attitudes of Bulgarian consumers towards payments authorized and secured by facial recognition.

Eleven Ventures is supporting Visa in its Innovation Program to bring emerging technologies like biometrics to real-world implementations by established companies.

The bank, PayByFace and the Visa Innovation Program collaborated to launch a trial of the biometric technology in a Sofia café last year.

PayByFace CEO and Co-founder Mihai Dragici said the pilot is a good way for the company to gain trust through collaboration with Raiffeisenbank. CFO and Co-founder Emanuele Conti-Vecchi credited Eleven, Raiffeisenbank and Visa Innovation Program for collaborating on and coordinating the work.

Dragici spoke to Biometric Update about PayByFace’s expansion plans, and how it keeps customer data private, in an interview in late-2020.

Users can enroll their face biometrics in the PayByFace app with a selfie and enter their payment card details to use the tablet system mounted at the point of sale for face-enabled payment.

The test is being conducted at the Luna bistro in the EXPO 200 office center, where Raiffeisenbank’s headquarters are located, and is expected to conclude at the end of April.

VisionLabs biometrics roll out to Russian grocery stores

Meanwhile in Russia, food retail giant X5 Retail Group has deployed face biometrics from VisionLabs to self-service checkout terminals in 52 Perekrestok supermarkets through a partnership with Sberbank and Visa.

The integration of VisionLabs facial recognition and partner SWiP‘s software with X5 technology for biometric payments is planned for 150 Perekrestok locations by the end of March. Several Moscow Pyaterochka convenience store locations are expected to roll the solution out in April.

X5 says it will consider eventually implementing the biometric payment system in up to 3,000 stores during 2021.

The partnership between SWiP and VisionLabs has already led to several significant implementations of selfie biometric payments.

The system uses a 3D camera and offers spoofing protection, according to the announcement. Customers are asked to remove their masks “for a second” to complete the contactless process.

“In 2020, the first place where we launched this technology commercially was a Moscow coffee shop chain,” comments X5 Retail Group CEO Igor Shekhterman. “Today’s launch of the project in one of Russia’s largest retail chains demonstrates that our ambition to develop innovative payment methods is shared by our partners, who are as eager to introduce them as we are. You don’t need cash, bank cards, or smartphones to use the service – all you need to do is ‘present’ your face and the payment will be posted. This is a fast, convenient and secure technology of the future, and we are among the first to be introducing it in Russia and worldwide. I’m convinced that contactless biometric payment solutions will very soon be used universally, and this payment method will become as customary as paying with a bank card or a smartphone.”

This post was updated at 9:19 am Eastern on March 24, 2021 to note the involvement of SWiP in the Perekrestok project.

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