MINSK, 13 August (BelTA) – Three Belarusian banks – Priorbank, BPS-Sberbank, and BelVEB Bank – will finish a pilot biometric authentication project by the end of the year. Deputy Head of the Operation Office, Head of the Interbank Identification and Blockchain Department at OAO Non-Banking Credit and Finance Organization ERIP Irina Ignatovich made the relevant statement at a press conference on 13 August, BelTA has learned.
Irina Ignatovich said: “We are testing a new way of interaction – the ability to log in to a banking app using biometric data or biometric templates of the face and the voice, to be exact. It is a pilot project right now. Three Belarusian banks – Priorbank, BPS-Sberbank, and BelVEB Bank – are taking part in it. But once it is over, any participant of the interbank client identification system will be able to use the tool. The pilot project is split into several stages. Biometric authentication is the first one. Clients of the interbank identification system will be able to use their biometric data instead of passwords in order to interact with their bank. We intend to finish the first stage by the end of the year. I hope at least the three pilot banks will be able to provide this service. Other banks will also be able to use these technologies.”
Biometric identification is the second stage of the pilot project. “It will be used when the interbank identification system does not have the [biometric] data. Both residents of Belarus and non-residents will be able to use the service in the future. The third stage will be possible integration with similar systems in other countries, first of all, countries of the Eurasian Economic Union for the sake of exchanging clients and products,” the executive noted.
An interbank client identification system went online in Belarus on 1 October 2016. It allows bank clients to confirm their identity personally in one of the banks and use services of other banks via digital channels later on. A presidential decree was signed in April 2019 to greatly enhance the system's functionality. As from 21 October 2019 it will allow insurance companies, professional participants of the stock market, leasing and microfinance organizations, forex companies, and other parties to access the data the system stores. Government agencies will be able to get access to the system. It will be possible to use biometric data (photo and video imagery, voice) for the sake of client identification and authentication. It will be possible to use smart contracts to make transactions as part of banking and financial operations.
OAO Non-Banking Credit and Finance Organization ERIP is an important part of the financial sector and Belarus' entire information and payment infrastructure. ERIP is primarily designed to offer financial market participants an integrated platform to enable payments and transactions, to provide all kinds of services, including within the framework of nationwide projects.