Russia’s largest food retailer, the X5 Group, has partnered with Visa and Sber to launch Face Pay biometrics at self-service checkout terminals in its stores, the facial recognition payment system may be expanded to some 3,000 X5-owned stores by the end of 2021.
After trials at 52 Perekrestok supermarkets, the biometric identification is set to become available at 150 Perekrestok supermarkets by the end of March, with several of Moscow’s Pyaterochka convenience stores to follow suit in April.
The exact schedule for further scaling and implementation will depend on the results of this first stage of the project, said the company, which announced the wider roll-out today. In total, biometric payment technology could reach 3,000 X5 stores by the end of the year.
“In 2020, the first place where we launched this technology commercially was a Moscow coffee shop chain,” said Igor Shekhterman, CEO of X5 Retail Group.
“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.”
Face Pay: How It Works
According to the retailer, it just takes a few seconds to ‘pay with a glance’, as shoppers do not need to use a debit or credit card, or even a smartphone, to complete the purchase.
After scanning their shopping at an X5 self-service checkout, customers can select the option to pay through facial recognition, briefly looking into the camera.
The basic solution uses a 3D camera which X5 says has “high detection accuracy and depth capture, allowing for easy and quick facial recognition that takes into account a person’s height and changes in appearance.”
The high-resolution camera ensures security and prevents spoofing.
Currently, the Face Pay option is currently only available to shoppers who are Sber’s banking clients. The biometric data is stored at Sber and transmitted via secure channels in an encrypted form and X5 stresses that no other companies working on this project have access to the biometric data.