Follow the Money

What’s stalling the move to IP video in the financial sector?

If cost is a major factor, and IT departments can sometimes put pressure on a deal, then it is safe to assume that storage is also an issue. Do you think banking institutions will ever embrace hosted video?

There is some hesitancy, but various financial institutions are already sending video to a central location for storage. It all circles back to the strategy: What is the financial institution trying to achieve? Does hosted video make sense for them? Hosted solutions that involve transaction data being sent with video footage raise important questions. How is the data stored? How is it encrypted? How is it transmitted? It is all about what’s going to make IP resonate with the banks — what’s going to make IP “click.” End-users want to know is it secure, easy to use and at the right price. However, the secure connection point is also very important. Solidifying a secure connection method will help financial institutions to adopt the model of storing data virtually.


The entrance of EMC into the surveillance market should provide companies with the confidence that their data is secure, but there seems to be a bit of a climb for IP regardless of the storage mechanism. Given the strong preference towards analog in the financial sector, what will be the main tipping points that will enable IP video to gain traction?

We are starting to see a handful of financial institutions installing IP surveillance technology; but, the real traction will come from a lower price point for the technology. From a functionality perspective, introducing IP cameras that combine wide dynamic range with true day/night capability is critical. Also, configuring the proper settings and compression to reduce bandwidth consumption without sacrificing image quality is key. The industry needs to educate banks on how easily they can architect a more distributed environment by coupling 7 to 10 days of in-camera storage with centralized video archiving. And we need to make the transition as painless as possible by introducing options such as familiar, easy-to-use browser interfaces. The technology has got to be easy to use all of the time. By educating end-users and setting realistic expectations of how the technology can benefit their security operations, the industry can tip the scales in favor of IP video.

Fredrik Nilsson is General Manager of the Americas for Axis Communications and author of the book Intelligent Network Video. He is a regular expert contributor on topics of networked video surveillance systems and cameras, and his “Eye on Video” series can be found in the archives at