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X5 Retail Group, Russia’s largest food retailer, has partnered with Sber and Visa to launch an innovative


X5 Retail Group, Russia’s largest food retailer, has partnered with Sber and Visa to launch an innovative `pay with a glance’ service at self-service checkout terminals in X5 supermarkets and proximity stores.

Already available at 52 Perekrestok supermarkets, this service uses biometric identification based on X5’s innovation lab technology and VisionLabs solutions. It is set to become available at 150 Perekrestok supermarkets by the end of March, with several of Moscow’s Pyaterochka proximity stores following suit in April.

The exact schedule for further scaling and implementation will depend on the results of this first stage of the project, which was announced today. In total, biometric payment technology may be expanded to some 3,000 X5 stores by the end of 2021. 

It just takes a few seconds to ‘pay with a glance’, as shoppers do not need to use their bank card or a smartphone to complete the purchase. After scanning their shopping at an X5 self-service checkout, built in-house, customers can select an option to ‘pay with a glance’, take off their mask for a second and look into the camera.

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 security and prevents spoofing.

The ‘pay with a glance’ option is currently only available to shoppers who are Sber’s banking clients. The biometric data is stored at Sber and transmitted via highly secure channels in an encrypted form. No other companies working on this project have access to the biometric data.

Igor Shekhterman, CEO of X5 Retail Group, commented:

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.

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