Sberbank, Gazprombank, Digital Horizon team up to support biometrics

Sberbank, Gazprombank and Digital Horizon have formed a partnership to support the biometrics capabilities of the Speech Technology Center (STC) division of Gazprombank.

Through the deal, Sberbank has acquired a 51 per cent stake in STC from Gazprombank. Venture capital firm Digital Horizon has also picked up a stake in STC, but it is unclear how big the share is.

As part of the deal, Gazprombank will remain as a strategic shareholder of STC and continue to support the development of the company.

The new shareholders will form a board of directors which will consist of four Sberbank representatives, including the chairman of the board. This board will also feature two representatives from Gazprombank and one from Digital Horizon.

Russia-based STC is a biometric technology developer with verification tools including voice, audio, and facial recognition. This deal will give the company access to the support of Sberbank and Gazprombank, including with AI and big data solutions.

Sberbank deputy chairman of the executive board Stanislav Kuznetsov said, “For Sberbank, this deal is a logical step on the road to digital transformation and the construction of a biometric platform for the Bank’s growing ecosystem.

“In the future we will use this platform to create a range of services that will take interaction with clients to a completely new level in terms of comfort and information security. In turn, Sberbank’s AI and big data expertise and experience will help STC broaden the use of speech technology in Russia, offer Russian technology to foreign markets and compete for global leadership.”

Earlier in the year, Sberbank formed a partnership with Azbuka Vkusa to bring fingerprint payments in stores. Through the deal, around 20 supermarkets in Russia enable customers to pay through a biometric POS solution.

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