Russian retailer launches ‘pay-with-a-glance’ tech

Russian food retailer X5 Retail Group, Visa, and Russian bank Sber have joined forces to launch ‘pay-with-a-glance’ technology in stores.

The technology is already available at check outs across 52 Perekrestok supermarkets.

The new service uses biometric identification based on X5’s innovation lab tech and VisionLabs solutions.

The payment method will be available at 150 Perekrestok supermarkets by the end of this month.

Several Pyaterochka proximity stores in Moscow plan to follow suit in April.

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.

“In 2020, the first place where we launched this technology commercially was a Moscow coffee shop chain,” said Igor Shekhterman, chief executive, 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.

He added: “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 at Sberbank, said: “We are witnessing contactless payments becoming increasingly popular among Russians, and biometrics is one of them. Our data suggest that 74 per cent 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.

He added: “Interestingly, 54 per cent 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.”

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