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Kommersant

Russia’s Major Banks to Join Unified Biometric System

July 30, 2021, 10:06 (UTC+3)|
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The joint venture for the development of the Unified Biometric System (UBS) operated by Rostelecom may include several major banks in Russia. This issue was discussed on July 29 at a meeting with market actors held the Central Bank, Kommersant reports.

According to the newspaper, the decision to include large banks in the joint venture has been made, further details are to be worked out. Previously, Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank (GPB), Alfa-Bank, Russian Agricultural Bank, PSB, Tinkoff-Bank and Pochta-Bank expressed its willingness to take part in the joint venture. However, the list is not final, according to experts.

It was originally intended to create a joint venture with only Rostelecom and Sberbank in it, newspaper’s sources said. As for now, Sberbank has "lost its monopoly" under pressure from the Central Bank. “The regulator is worried about market competitiveness, while Sberbank occupies half of the market. Considering such dominance, it is logical that the positions in the competitive environment are strongly skewed,” one of the experts in the consulting market explained to Kommersant.

The joint venture is tasked with collecting about 20 million samples, including photographs and voice recordings, over the next two years. So far, UBS has collected data from 164 thousand Russian citizens for the past three years. By 2030, the number of Russians who have submitted their biometric data is expected to increase to 50 million, officials reported previously.

Original (in Russian)

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