Sberbank continues aggressive moves to lock up local market for retail face biometrics
There are a lot of problems with even covering business in Russia, but from a flurry of recent reports, facial recognition for payments is blossoming quickly.
A surprising volume of the biometric news out of the troubled economy involves state-owned financial services firm Sberbank.
The bank is lining up strategic relationships to make sure its retail network of face-scanning terminals work as billed and hold off competitors.
This week, Sberbank said it will partner with the Center for Biometric Technologies, which operates the federal government’s Unified Biometric System of citizen data. According to information that is machine translated, the agreement will result in development of new services.
And reporting in Izvestia, a publication with close ties to Russian strongman leader Vladimir Putin, says Sberbank has put 2 million face-scanning terminals in retailers across the country. The information also comes from a machine-translated article.
In fact, the article says the Association of (Russian) Internet Trade Companies counted and found that Sberbank’s terminals account for 70 percent of retail systems.
In 2020, Sberbank was involved in updating a private clinic, the European Medical Center, started contactless biometric payments using a service, Selfie2Pay was developed by the vendor SWiP. Sberbank helped integrate the clinic’s system with its own.
In 2021, Forbes wrote about Russia’s top food retailer, X5 Retail Group began working with Sberbank and Visa on face-scanning systems for supermarkets and convenience stores. The goal at that time was to get terminals in 3,000 X5 stores before 2022.