Friday, June 18, 2021

Just the ticket – Moscow Metro to bring in FacePay system this year

Similar systems are already in place in some Chinese cities.

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The Moscow Metro system will be using an innovative system by the end of 2021 with passengers able to pay for their journey with their faces.

Currently in testing, the FacePay technology will be available for use at turnstiles and cash desks at the Russian capital’s metro stations. Thus far, test participants have successfully passed through the barriers 2,000 times, Interfax reports.

Facial recognition cameras were installed in many Moscow Metro stations last year at payment gates, and although the public cannot yet use the system, it has already been used to catch more than 900 criminal suspects, with the technology performing a second function of identifying those wanted by the police.

In February, Moscow daily Kommersant reported that city authorities would be installing 316 multimedia screens in 85 subway stations around the capital, each containing autofocus-enabled full HD CCTV cameras.

Moscow already has a vast network of facial recognition camera technology, which last year made international headlines after being used to catch residents leaving their apartment during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Despite worries about personal security, a survey of Russians last summer revealed that around 50% of citizens support the system.

Similar systems are already in place in some Chinese cities, including the mega-metropolis Zhengzhou, home to over 10 million people.

In 2019, the South China Morning Post reported that nearly 200,000 commuters opted to use the technology in just a couple of months. Facial recognition has also been implemented in other Chinese cities, such as technology hub Shenzhen.

It has not yet been reported how such systems deal with passengers wearing protective masks.

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