Integrating Video at the Point of Sale

PoS systems combined with video create a valuable tool to prevent retail losses


The point of sale is a critical facet of any retailer's strategy to minimize shrinkage and employee theft. During the acts of scanning merchandise, receiving payment and making change for customers, employees who are not trustworthy often find various ways to steal. They might charge a friend a drastically lower price for an item ("sweet hearting"), fail to scan one or more items, give too much change (perhaps intentionally) or even steal cash directly from the till.

Computerized point-of-sale (POS) systems provide a valuable tool to prevent these losses by tracking every sale, by allowing a business owner to review specific questionable transactions and by sorting transactions according to type or dollar amount. A retail owner may wish to review just the refunds, the transactions during a specified time period or events involving more than $50. But computer records alone can't always pin-point the responsible party in the event of identity theft such as the unauthorized use of another employee's POS password. To help provide definitive identification, Panasonic integrated the company's POS systems with its video surveillance systems to further secure and document transactions at the point of sale.

Integration of POS and video surveillance systems now enables a retail owner to easily view a video "clip" of any transaction completed by a POS system. With each transaction linked to video, the owner can instantly view collateral video of any transaction with one click. Using POS integration, business owners also have the ability to sort transactions by category and easily sort and review video clips of specific interest without having to scan hours of footage. For example, a business owner may view video of all transactions totaling a minimum amount, or watch video of refunds only to make sure an actual customer was present and received the refunded money.

Also, making the integration of video with POS even more useful is the higher video image quality of Panasonic's i-PRO SmartHD cameras. Greater image resolution clearly displays the precise details of any transaction, enables users to "follow the money" and even shows currency denominations.

Kamal Boiri is the director of Loss Prevention, Panasonic System Networks Company of America.