Rostelecom to become National Biometric Platform operator in Russia

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Rostelecom will become the operator to implement the National Biometric Platform (NBP), a pilot project led by the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation and the Central Bank of Russia. The platform will allow banks to use biometric identification techniques on clients using a federal state information system (The Unified System of Identification and Authentication, or ‘USIA’) to verify remote bank account applications and deliver other banking services.

According to current Russian legislation, an initial bank account can only be opened by an individual in person at a bank branch. The National Biometric Platform will enable banks to identify their clients remotely via USIA using personal biometric data.

Rostelecom’s subsidiary RT Labs will act as a technological partner and developer for the project. RT Labs has extensive experience of working with electronic government systems and will take the lead in developing tailored IT elements to consolidate process, store, provide and check personal biometric data on the National Biometric Platform. RT Labs will also be in charge of integrating NBP within the infrastructure of the government’s electronic system.

The platform will be located in Rostelecom's protected cloud infrastructure, which banks will access via special communication channels within the Interagency Electronic Interaction System (SIEI). The Central Bank of Russia will approve a list of credit institutions who will be participating in this pilot project.

To register for remote identification through USIA and NBP, a bank customer visits a branch to undergo the identification process. Once the ‘personal digital profile’ (including biometric data) is created, the customer will be able to open accounts remotely and access other financial services offered by banks registered with the pilot.

Ivan Berov, director of programmes at PJSC Rostelecom’s Centre for Strategic Innovations:
"Rostelecom has taken another important step towards the development of the Russian digital economy. Our citizens will have the opportunity to enjoy the e-services which used to be unavailable due to national legislative restrictions. The development of digital platforms and services will also help people with disabilities and people living in hard-to-reach areas receive services on an equal basis with residents of megacities".“Rostelecom has taken another important step towards the development of the Russian digital economy. Our citizens will have the opportunity to enjoy the e-services which used to be unavailable due to national legislative restrictions. The development of digital platforms and services will also help people with disabilities and people living in hard-to-reach areas receive services on an equal basis with residents of megacities".

Mikhail Bondarenko, CEO of RT Labs:
"RT Labs is the centre of competence when it comes to developing and supporting highly burdened information systems that support the electronic government. The newly created biometric platform significantly complements our existing projects and will open new business possibilities, including anti-fraud management in remote transactions. In the long-term, NBP applications will be available not only at credit institutions, but also in enterprises of other economy sectors."

During the pilot period, face images and/or voice recordings will be used as biometric records. In future, the list of biometric data used may be expanded (such as iris recognition, palm vein or fingerprint scanning), and it will considerably increase the NBP’s use of Biometric Platforms in various situations.

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The Unified System of Identification and Authentication (USIA) was developed by Rostelecom 5 years ago, at the request of Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of Russia, and has by now turned into an autonomous self-consistent system and a ‘window’ for citizens, businesses and representatives of the executive power into the electronic government infrastructure and other information systems, connected to the System of Interagency Electronic Interaction (SIEI).

USIA serves nearly 3 thousand users per minute granting access to federal and regional portals of state services, including the websites of the “Russian Public Initiative” (RPI), the Federal Service of State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreestr), the Federal Tax Service and the Pension Fund, and WI-FI in Moscow tube as well.

The number of USIA participants has grown significantly from nearly 170 information systems connected in the beginning of 2014 to more than 1000 as at November 2016.

The Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of Russia is assigned as the state customer and coordinator of USIA operation. Acting as a sole provider, PJSC Rostelecom is responsible for the system’s development within the implementation of Russian State programme “Information Society, 2011-2020”. JSC RT Labs is the sole service provider to Rostelecom in the space of exploitation and development of the electronic government infrastructure.