The territorial branches of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation have begun to check credit institutions, including also branch offices, for their real readiness to receive citizens’ biometric data.

The program of biometric data collection in 400 banks’ branches began in July of the current year in 140 cities of the country. By early next year the possibility of collecting this data should be provided in 4 000 offices.  In general, less than 3 000 units of biometric data were collected during the first 4 months of the program.

To monitor the compliance with requirements for biometric data collection, the Central Bank of the RF has prepared a corresponding regulatory act, which is currently under registration in the Ministry of Justice of the RF.

As a reminder, the obligation of credit institutions to take off biometric data by request customer is directly specified in Article 7 «Rights and obligations of organizations engaged in transactions with funds or other property» of the Federal Law №115-FZ «On Countering the Legalization (Laundering) of Proceeds from Crime and Financing of Terrorism» dated 07.08.2001, as well as in the regulatory acts of the Central Bank of the RF. Fine sanctions in the amount of up to 0,1% of the minimum size of share capital may be used against violators. They may also face restrictions on certain banking transactions.

In addition, it should be noted that the Federal Law №149-FZ (in force as of 19.07.2018) «On Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection» from 27.07.2006 treats the Unified biometric system as an unified personal data information system that ensures the collection, verification, processing and storage of biometric personal data, as well as the transfer of information on the degree of their compliance with the provided biometric personal data of a citizen of the RF.

Background:  The Unified Biometric System was launched in Russia on June 30. The system is a key component of remote identification mechanism allowing citizens to receive financial services remotely.  The system development was initiated by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation. RTLabs is the key technological partner of the project.

EBS identifies users by a combination of two parameters – voice and face, allowing recognition of a living individual rather than simulation of his/her biometrics in the digital channel. To date, the face and voice are the most common biometric parameters available for the mass-scale use.

To get registered in the Unified Biometric System, a citizen will only have to visit the bank once. The bank staff will help him/her with the registration in the Unified Identification and Authentication System (ESIA) used to access the Unified Public Services Portal (, if the citizen was not registered with it earlier. After that, the assistant will take the user’s biometric data – a photo image and voice profile – and upload them to the Unified Biometric System.  Once registered in the Unified Biometric System, the citizen can enjoy the remote services of any bank connected to it.

Source: Credinform Russia Press Release