Moscow Metro, the Russian capital’s subway authority, will be enabling payment by facial recognition at all metro stations by the end of the year. Here’s the impressive part – it allegedly works even if you’re wearing a mask.
Using this so-called FacePay system requires having a Russian bank account attached with biometric data on file, according to The Moscow Times who cited an Interfax report. But if you do, having your face scanned by cameras at the turnstiles or ticket booths will cause the fare to be deducted from your account and the turnstiles to open.
Moscow Deputy Mayor Maxim Liksutov reportedly asserted that the system functions even for mask-wearing passengers. It’s an impressive claim for sure – given that most facial recognition systems currently struggle with masks, even on flagships phones.
Like their Chinese counterparts, Russian authorities have eagerly deployed facial recognition tech to identify criminal suspects, raising questions about potential abuse and privacy violations.
Metro security service head Andrei Kichigin reportedly said that the metro’s facial recognition cameras assisted in the arrests of over 900 suspected criminals in the last six months.
Still, the metro’s FacePay system may set it apart from all other train systems in the world, for now. According to Kichigin, tests have already begun, with participants passing successfully through the turnstiles 2,000 times so far.