Sberbank is going to introduce unprecedented technology to pay for goods in shops without cash, credit cards or any gadgets through fingerprinting, that is, literally with one finger. A few years ago this would have sounded fantastic, but today is perceived as the norm: innovative payment methods step by step squeeze the cash out of our wallets.

This includes online services from the big banks, and credit cards from IT companies and system of contactless payment for mobile gadgets… in short, everyone can find a digital wallet on your taste — in the store no longer need to count on the cash thing, but the journey will not have to hide currency bags, socks and linings. But enough reliable and fashionable services in order to entrust them with large sums of money? Whether we are rastochitel, if finances are not expressed in nice crisp bills? “Profile” versed in the prospects of modern payment methods together with experts.

Evolution of the purse

Today there are two main ways to store tools in the virtual space: for banking accounts and e-money. The latter are non-banking credit organizations (NCO) that allows you to accumulate funds in a web wallet, transfer them to other users and pay for purchases via the Internet. Well-known examples — WebMoney, “Yandex. Money”, Qiwi. Unlike banks, NGOs cannot give credit and charge interest on the account balance. The peak of popularity of e-money occurred in the 2000s — early 2010s, when the Bank card was not widespread and the Internet was everywhere.

Web wallets are still in the move: according to the Mediascope survey, 71% of Russians use them at least once in six months. But in General, they were gradually replaced by Internet banking (to them, according to the same survey, is 87,2% of respondents). According to the Bank of Russia, the number of Bank cards in Russia increased from 100 million in 2008 to 272 million by early 2019. This is not surprising, since banks allow you to do everything the same as the payment system, plus provide a number of advantages: plastic card for offline purchases, the opportunity to receive her salary, to insure money on Deposit, to go into overdraft, “earn” cashback and interest on the account balance.

While not every Bank can boast all the benefits of digital Finance. Personal account on the website modern user has little need smartphone app with a whole ecosystem functions so that you can less than a minute to “throw” money buddy, pay for utilities and penalties, to issue credit, control costs and much more. Most popular in Russia, the example of Internet banking “Sberbank Online”. According to the corporate report, for the year 2018, the number of service users increased by almost half and by the beginning of November exceeded 40 million people, or half of the economically active population of the country.

Also in the last couple of years a mass phenomenon has become a payment with your smartphone. The user is required to link a Bank card to the device in a special application, and then can be applied to the payment terminal and the gadget. In Russia, widespread two mobile payment systems: Apple Pay (8% of all Bank payments in 2018, according CloudPayments) and Google Pay (2%). And while not all banks work with them. On Apple’s website listed a total of 16 partners — 12 of major Russian banks, plus the “Yandex. Money” and “big three” mobile operators. The list of Russian partners Google Pay much more — about a hundred.

Further expansion of ecosystems in General and of the money supply, “missing” through the high-tech payment system, inevitable as autumn leaf fall. According to Statista total mobile payment market from 2015 to 2019 has increased from $450 billion to $1.08 trillion. And according to Allied Market Research forecast that, by 2023, it would amount to over $4.5 trillion. Goodbye, cash…

Thanks to technology Near Field Communication modern smartphones can mimic a Bank card. It is sufficient to attach this gadget to the payment terminal and the purchase is made

Leung Cho Pan / Photobank Lori

How it works

Not so long ago contactless payments seemed to be real magic. If the buyer has applied to the terminal Bank card, it is still all right. But if a smartphone, wristwatch, bracelet or even a ring… In fact, contactless payment — at least a map, even a gadget, though the accessory is powered by a single technology: Near Field Communication (NFC).

In Bank card fits a small NFC-chip passive transmitter payment information. Upon contact with the active chip (technology working distance up to 10 cm) is given financial transaction. As a rule, purchase at the box office, although today the NFC tag and be equipped with ATMs. Now it is enough to put the card without inserting it inside, so she’s definitely not forgotten and not “Zazueta”.

Mobile apps, Apple Pay and Google Pay are setting up an NFC tag in such a way that it simulates the chip of the Bank card. Accordingly, any device or accessory with NFC, you can configure to make purchases in the store. The vast majority of cases, it is a smartphone, sometimes — smart watch. Some Samsung smartphones can also simulate the magnetic field similar to the magnetic strip on the card. Thus, even if the terminal does not support contactless input, Samsung Pay still allows you to use a smartphone is “plastic”.

And no fraud

Despite the obvious convenience, many users fear that contactless technology can get them sideways. They say that fraud in public transport, it is sufficient to attach the terminal to the bag where the card, and it will automatically write off the money.

“Theoretically such a possibility exists, but in practice it is difficult and unprofitable, — object Manager practice analytical solutions for anti-fraud “SAS Russia” Alexey Konyaev. — First, without the PIN you can write off only a small amount, and the attacker would have to constantly change it. If you pass several similar write-offs in a row, work antimodernity system. Second, the write-off through the terminal transferred to the account of the legal person and take time. But the SMS about the expense of the card holder will receive immediately, and then be able to contact the Bank to block the transaction. Finally, next to the map there should not be interference in the form of other chips, which today is rare — few people carry only one card”.

Director of research threats Avast Michal Salat believes that if such a task and you can cope, you are not alone — you will need at least two crooks. “One must be adjacent to the contactless card of the victim and to have a device with an antenna, through which will pass payment details. A second attacker is near the payment terminal and accepts data” — describes the expert.

In General, according to experts, to carry contactless cards safe: too complex an operation it is necessary to organize, to write only 1000 or 3000 rubles (the maximum amount without entering a PIN in Russia MasterCard and Visa, respectively). In April specialists of “Kaspersky Lab” noted in the media that Russia has not been a single case of theft.

A little different situation with mobile payment services. They limit to 1000 or 3000 rubles, as a rule, does not apply (depends on the settings of the application and policy of the Bank). However, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and similar services require the owner to customize the protection of your smartphone, and simply will not work if you do not unlock the phone. And banking apps that allow you to transfer money to other accounts, protected by individual PIN code and also support the input fingerprint.

Accordingly, the main thing that is required from the owner of the device, — do not leave it unlocked without supervision. According to Alexey Konyaev, human errors are the main threat of safety of funds. “Many people often disregard the rules of information security: make payments through the Wi-Fi in public areas, clicking links in phishing emails, do not check for support of encryption on website, make a purchase at doubtful online stores… And they use one card to store fixed assets and of making Internet payments. It’s the old rule: you should not put all your eggs in one basket”.

“Classic contactless payment technology are among the most reliable from the point of view of protection against copying, but provided that they are accompanied by confirmation of transactions via SMS, the so-called two-factor authentication — adds the General Director of “Protekshen technology” Michael Kalinichenko. In this sense, making a payment via smartphone reduces the security level of electronic payment, as it is both a payment instrument and the confirmation through SMS. His loss automatically leads to the vulnerability of the transaction.”

Citizens who hand over the prints

But “mobile-credit” obviously not the last page in the history of contactless payment methods. August 16, Vedomosti reported that Sberbank plans the widespread introduction of the know-how technology of payment without credit cards and smartphones. Instead of unreliable electronic devices are encouraged to use the fingers or face. It is assumed that the special terminal will scan the papillary lines or the shape of the face and thus to identify the customer and his Bank account. Then you will need to enter a five digit password, and only then the funds will be debited from your Bank account. In other words, the identity of the individual and the interface for payment will be biometric data.

This is the logic that the papillary lines are unique for each person, and modern technologies allow to read them with a fairly high accuracy. It is known that sometimes to unlock someone else’s smartphone, you can use the captured fingerprint of the owner or a 3D mask of his face (sometimes it is enough even photos). But with the terminals such focus will not pass through two-factor authentication (scan + enter the PIN code). Besides, if somebody will get at the checkout silicone pad on the finger or a special mask on the face, it will certainly cause suspicion.

A pilot project on payment for fingerprints has been launched at the end of 2016 in a network of shops “ABC of taste”, but popularity is not gained for all the time system used by 400 people. This is probably due to the fact that the visitors do not want to share their biometric data. But Sberbank is not stop in efforts to continue the implementation of development. Until the end of 2019 is planned to restart the project with new, faster terminals in more shops. At first, the “pay by finger”, only the clients of Sberbank, because the biometric data linked to payment cards of the Bank.

In parallel, developing a unified biometric system, created under the auspices of Rostelecom, at the initiative of the Ministry of communications and the Central Bank of Russia. In the future it should form the basis not only of financial operations of Russians, but also their entire digital life: identification, health, Commerce, public services, etc. While the people of Russia did not appreciate the bright prospects of this part of the national project “Digital economy” and are reluctant to share biometric data. So, in the beginning of July the first Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia Sergei Shvetsov said that in the summer of 2018, has collected a total of 20 thousand records. But after 10 years, in his opinion, all people in Russia will be digitized.

Foreign epidemic

Major payment systems such as Visa and MasterCard decided to go the other way. Although in 2016 Visa has been experimenting with biometric fingerprint scan which was supposed to replace credit cards. The project almost immediately turned down without explanation. Instead, technology companies began to develop a Bank card with integrated fingerprint sensor.

The point is simple: to pay with such a card for your purchase, the finger needs to hold onto its sensor. If the papillary pattern corresponds to, which is incorporated in the memory card (and most of this data is not stored anywhere, including server Bank), payment is. Restrictions on the amount of operation is no PIN to enter it is not necessary to sign the receipt too. Loss or theft of the card there was no danger — of course, provided that the sensor cannot be fooled with a fake fingerprint. The reliability of the technology meets the company Gemalto, which since 2006 is engaged in the safety of Bank cards.

MasterCard has launched a pilot project with a Bank card with a fingerprint sensor in South Africa in April 2017, and Visa — Cyprus at the beginning of 2018. Now the technology is still undergoing testing in many countries, including the US and the UK. MasterCard promised to issue such cards to customers in April 2019, but apparently, there were complications — free Bank cards of the new type yet.

If to speak about the more distant future, a major role in the transformation of the financial system usually assign the cryptocurrency. It is also electronic money, but not necessarily having a material basis, they can be generated on computers without direct financial investments. Cryptocurrency is secured by special encryption technology of the blockchain, allowing you to maintain complete anonymity of remittances.

The governments of most countries do not prohibit cryptocurrencies (especially the most popular of them is bitcoin). To jail for operating with them can only be reached in Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia and Nepal. But in many countries treatment of cryptocurrencies are partially limited. For example, in China the government offices and banks are not allowed to work with them, and individuals have.

In June of this year, social network Facebook has introduced its own crypto currency, the Libra, with the support of Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and other major global companies. However, the company still can not agree on the rules of market participation with the United States Congress. American officials can’t figure out how the new Facebook initiative will affect the financial stability of the country and the world. And in October, the market needs to have another major player — Gram from the Creator of the social network Vkontakte and messenger Telegram Pavel Durov.

Russian officials are also warily watching to the side of cryptocurrencies, but not in a hurry to ban them. At the beginning of the year, the media reported that in Moscow, Kaluga and Kaliningrad oblasts and Perm Krai will be formed “regulatory sandbox” to explore new technologies, including cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. Later it was specified that such experimental platforms will appear not earlier than in 2020 after the adoption of a special law, which is still being discussed in government agencies.

But already now it is possible to assume that in Russia cryptocurrency will find one of two scenarios: strict government regulation or a complete ban. Gram banned for sure, as it is likely to be implemented on the basis of the Telegram is banned in the Russian messenger.

The prospects of other innovations in financial technologies look more confident. Sberbank will surely bring to mind and to mass market the idea to pay for purchases in shops with one finger. This technology in the world practice is not yet met, so in this sense, the Russian Bank will be a pioneer. But in General, any deliberately clear innovations (like Bank cards with a fingerprint sensor) may appear in Russia soon after the “world premiere”. It is in the interests of Russian banks, who took a high rate of implementation of innovations in their systems and thus gave rise to hard and surprisingly healthy competition.

New payment methods are not only convenience to the buyers and profits for sellers. Studies show that with the virtual currency easier to part with than cash, what motivates us to spend more in the shops

Shutterstock / Fotodom


At the dawn of the spread of Bank cards was discovered that part with the “virtual currency” is easier than with cash. In the study, MIT 2001, said that holders of credit cards are willing to spend on buying twice as much money. In 2008, the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that for the same goods people don’t mind to pay with the card at 21% more than real money. What is this phenomenon, “Profile” asked the candidate of psychological Sciences, Deputy Dean of the faculty of psychology of Moscow state University Alexander Rykiel.

“Humanity is accustomed to act in the framework of specific characters, including the money — said the scientist. — Just as we perceive the money is paper money with a certain face value and treat them according to their values. Therefore, large bills or wads of cash, belonging to us, call in the excitement — they have a subjective significance.

The rapid transition to contactless payments in General and payments means the destruction of the characters that were fixed in the human consciousness for thousands of years. Modern money has become figures on the screens of the devices. The result is a rational person understands that you have spent a significant amount, but the lack of signs and procedures of their transfer from hands in hands causes of cognitive error. Consciousness says: “Stop!”, but on the contrary, believes that nothing is wasted”.

Fortunately, most banking applications are the statistics of expenditure, some even with the categories (supermarkets, restaurants, entertainment, etc.). There are specialized applications that allow you to conduct personal financial accounting. Recording all income and expenses manually, it’s much easier to moderate increased due to fiscal “permissiveness” appetites.

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