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Moscow launches new Face Pay payment system

Moscow Department of Transport says the Russian capital began the first phase of introducing the Face Pay fare payment via the facial recognition on the MCC

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Moscow has announced the launch of the Face Pay payment system on the Moscow Central Circle and its testing on surface transport March 16, according to a statement.

It added that the Face Pay fare payment system was unveiled at Kutuzovskaya station of the Moscow Central Circle (MCC), adding, by the end of the year, it will be available at all stations of the Moscow Central Circle. Also, the service will be tested on the surface transport.

Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Transport, Maksim Liksutov is quoted as saying that “The Face Pay is a secure and convenient way to pay for a trip. It is a Russian development and the property of the Government of Moscow. On behalf of the Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, we continue to develop biometric payments, more than 80 thousand metro passengers already use them. According to our forecasts, in the next 2-3 years up to 15% of passengers will choose this payment method. In April, we will begin testing the Face Pay on the surface transport – for now, with the participation of our employees. We are also preparing to launch testing on the MCC. I would like to emphasize that this is a new service, which the passengers can use voluntarily, if they find this method of payment more convenient for themselves.”

Ease of use and security

Our Correspondent gathered that to use the Face Pay passengers have to register in the Moscow Metro mobile application, take a photo of their face, connect their bank card and the Troika transport card.

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The Moscow Metro is one of the largest metro systems in the world and one of the world leaders in the number of contactless payment methods. The ticketing system of Moscow has been recognized internationally several times. For two years in a row, it has received the prestigious Transport Ticketing Award (2020, 2021). Face Pay is yet another innovative payment method based on the latest technologies that contributes to the Moscow Metro list of options.

The Moscow Metro fully has launched the Face Pay in October 2021. Facial recognition payment technology is the first in the world used on such a large scale: it is available on all metro stations and from now – in test mode on the MCC. 

The Face Pay not only simplifies the procedure of passing through the turnstiles, but also allows doing it faster during peak hours, when the number of passengers increases significantly. Passengers do not need to look for their pass, thereby creating queues.

To prevent the possibility of fraud when using the service, the Face Pay uses the Liveness technology. It determines how natural and not static human behavior is, and distinguishes between a live person and a photo, video or 3D mask. The Face Pay has already proved its popularity: in 2021, 12.74 million trips in the Moscow Metro were made using biometrics.

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