Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, is buying more contactless ATMs that are powered by blockchain, according to local news agency Izvestia. Interestingly, the move comes amid a proposed bill to penalize individuals and companies that use crypto and Bitcoin in financial transactions.
Sberbank Leverages Blockchain for Contactless ATMs
To avoid confusion, Sberbank’s ATMs have nothing to do with crypto as they don’t act as BTMs. The banking giant aims to cut the need for physical contact of clients with their bank cards amid the COVID pandemic.
The blockchain-powered devices will support several contactless payment systems, including Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Mir Pay, and Huawei Pay. The ATMs are also equipped with functionality for pattern recognition and are protected by anti-vandal systems.
In total, Sberbank plans to buy 5,000 ATMs within a framework of a tender worth over $108 million. Consequently, each machine will cost around $22,000.
While it is not a secret that Sberbank is a big fan of blockchain-related innovation, it is unclear how exactly do the new ATMs leverage the technology. About two years ago, the bank launched a blockchain lab to create and trial the technology for various tasks. For instance, in the fall of last year, Sberbank became the first Russian bank to patent a system that converts repo into smart contracts on blockchain.
Today, Sberbank has about 75,000 ATMs across Russia, of which 55,000 are fully functional.
Russia Might Punish Those Who Use Crypto
Sberbank’s move is proving that the Russian state doesn’t want to stay aloof from the blockchain adoption, as the bank is owned by the government. On the other side, the country seems to have a problem with the free use of crypto,