TESTING of facial recognition as a payment method began on the Moscow Metro from August 16.

A test group will be able to use the technology on the Arbatskaya - Pokrovskaya line, with the system also rolled out on the Solntsevskaya and Kaluzhsko - Rizhskaya lines by the end of the month.

The system works by passengers linking a photograph, bank card and Troika card to a phone number.

Already 65,000 metro staff are using the technology, says Mr Maxim Liksutov, Moscow deputy mayor and head of the Moscow Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development.

The staff have so far completed more than 1.5 million journeys according to Liksutov and a further 20,000 contractors have also used the facial recognition technology. He says it’s been established to improve the reliability and convenience of the metro’s ticketing.

“Face Pay servers are installed in all lobbies, but each of them is synchronised with the central server,” he says. “So we were able to achieve a high speed of the system’s response - all processes in total fit in about one and a half seconds.”.