Rostelecom presents beta version of Unified Biometric System

19 February

RTLabs is the technology partner of the project

Rostelecom has presented a beta version of the Unified Biometric System, a digital platform developed by Rostelecom at the initiative of the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications and the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. The first production release of the system features all key components to implement the core human identification functionality and is ready for integration into the banks’ information systems.  
The Unified Biometric System combines two identification parameters – a voice profile and a photo image, which remarkably increases the accuracy of recognition of a living individual. For each identification parameter, biometric solutions from a number of vendors are used in the system. The platform’s open architecture ensures fast integration of solutions from new vendors and the use of the best recognition algorithms.
The security mechanisms of the system will deny identification in the event of a low match score against the reference biometric data stored in the Unified Biometric System. The digital platform is located in Rostelecom’s protected cloud infrastructure available for the banks via dedicated communication channels of SMEV (Inter-Agency Electronic Interaction System). User data will be transmitted to the Unified Biometric System via communication channels protected by domestic crypto algorithms. To this end, Rostelecom is developing a dedicated mobile application with a built-in cryptographic information protection facility.    
“Rostelecom started to develop the Unified Biometric System six months ago, when the regulatory barriers impeding the development of biometrics in the country were lifted, with respective amendments made to the laws to allow the use of biometric identification technologies in legally significant acts. Concurrently, Rostelecom was selecting appropriate software solutions and hardware vendors and negotiating with the banks that would become the first to test the Unified Biometric System and receive users’ biometric data. This work resulted in the first beta version of the system offering technologies that will be used to capture biometric data and verify users in July 2018, when the system has been put into commercial operation,” says Alexander Aivazov, Vice President for Development, PJSC Rostelecom.
“At VTB, the volume of sales through digital channels has reached 40% now. The development of the Unified Biometric system is an absolutely logical step that fits in the global trend of digitalization of services. The system will open new opportunities for customer service, with most of the banking products such as deposits, savings accounts, loans, bank cards, payments and fund transfers available remotely, without visiting the branch. I am confident that this will be in great demand among our customers,” said Vladimir Verkhoshinsky, Member of the Management Board, VTB.
“We welcome this step by the industry and we are confident that the Unified Biometric System will foster the development of the entire financial sector through improved competition and customer experience. Tinkoff Bank has its own successful track record in testing voice prints and photo based facial recognition of clients, and we are happy to share our experience with Rostelecom and other partners working on the Unified Biometric System,” said Oliver Hughes, Chairman of the Management Board, Tinkoff Bank.
“The Unified Biometric System will make the interaction of citizens and the state even simpler and more convenient. This will influence many processes such as receiving public services, organization of social events, ensuring public transport security, and in the long run, it will facilitate exercising the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens,” concluded Mikhail Bondarenko, General Director of RTLabs.
The start of the Unified Biometric System commercial operation is scheduled for July 1, 2018. To date, more than 20 Russian banks have started testing the system. A full list of banks that will use the Unified Biometric System after its launch in mid-2018 will be formed by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.
In the future, the Unified Biometric System can be used in various sectors including the financial sector, health care, education, retail, e-commerce, as well as for receiving state and municipal services. The Unified Biometric System will make available quite a number of services and functionalities, which will improve the quality of life of remote areas residents, disabled persons, and residents of megacities who will not depend on the service offices’ time schedules anymore.
RTLabs, a subsidiary of Rostelecom, is the technology partner of the project. With its extensive working experience in e-government information systems, RTLabs will be developing specialized IT elements to collect, process, store, and provide biometric data for the system, and integrating it with the e-government infrastructure.