Visa partners with Russian supermarket chain to roll out pay-with-face technology
X5 Retail Group, a leading Russian food retailer, Sber and Visa have launched an innovative pay-with-a glance service at self-checkouts in X5 stores. Now available at 52 Perekrestok supermarkets, the service uses biometric identification based on X5’s innovation lab technology and VisionLabs solutions. The new payment method is scheduled to become available at 150 Perekrestok supermarkets by the end of March, while in April several Pyaterochka proximity stores in Moscow are following suit. Visa is a strategic partner of the project.
It takes only a few seconds to pay with a glance, and the service is comparable to a regular bank card transaction in terms of speed. In order to use the new technology, which is available to Sberbank clients, customers can select the Pay with a Glance option in the Cards or Profile sections of the Sberbank Online mobile app and specify the card to be used for payment. After scanning their goods at X5 self-checkouts, customers can select the option to Pay with a Glance, take off their mask for a second and look into the camera. Neither a bank card nor a smartphone is needed.
The solution operates only on self-checkout machines designed by X5. Currently, the payment technology is available on 350 devices but has the technical capacity to be scaled up across X5’s entire network of more than 6,000 devices. The option will also be available at new checkout counters to be installed during 2021. The basic solution uses a 3D camera with 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 a high level of security and prevents spoofing.
Today’s technological capabilities help us build a large-scale and cost-effective digital business rapidly, but also change the customer experience in our offline stores fundamentally. Biometric payment is one of the changes. Our solution is unrivalled both in terms of scale and quality of the technology. It features a user-friendly interface, quick checkout time, no additional devices, and strong security. The solution has been successfully piloted and is now ready for deployment across X5 stores. Biometrics are becoming a standard payment method and might soon be available to millions of our customers throughout Russia.
Igor Shekhterman, CEO, X5 Retail Group – In 2020, the first place where we launched this technology commercially was a Moscow coffee shop chain. 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.
Kirill Tsaryov, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, Head of Retail Business, Sberbank – “We are witnessing contactless payments becoming increasingly popular among Russians, and biometrics is one of them. Our data suggest that 74% of Russian customers have already gone contactless for their daily shopping. Undoubtedly, Russians’ aspiration to protect themselves during the pandemic has spurred the demand for non-cash payments. Interestingly, 54% of domestic consumers view contactless payments as one of the most effective ways to protect them from COVID-19 while shopping. Biometrics are convenient and empower customers to feel secure even if they fail to bring their bank card or forget its PIN code. We are happy to take part in this project and believe that facial payments will soon become one of the most popular ways of shopping in supermarkets, even after the pandemic. Our research confirms that this type of biometric identification is gaining traction in Russia, with 70% customers planning to rely on face payments going forward.”
Mikhail Berner, Country Manager for Russia at Visa – “After reviewing the results of the first pilot phase and collecting customer feedback, X5 will determine whether to scale up the service across all of the regions where it operates.”
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