If you are going to make the leap to IP cameras, you’ll need a high performance recording system with the necessary storage capacity and processing power. If you want to start with a few IP cameras and add more over time, you’ll want a hybrid recording system able to accommodate both analog and IP devices, and one that allows you to transition to all-IP surveillance video without having to trade in your recorder or add new hardware.
High-quality video is a sure way to boost security effectiveness, but it’s equally important to be able to find the video you’re looking for with the least amount of effort and expense. If your chosen video-surveillance system offers software tools that help speed investigations, you’ll be able to do more of them and reduce losses from theft, fraud and customer disputes. You won’t always know when an incident has occurred, so look for a system that highlights exceptions and presents thumbnail images that can be quickly reviewed.
Another thing to keep in mind when selecting a video-surveillance system is the vendor’s commitment to backward compatibility. If your vendor releases a new product or video-management system that doesn’t work with the system you have, you could be forced to undertake extensive upgrades or write off your investment prematurely.
Serviceability of a system is also important, because whether we like it or not, the moving parts in any system are susceptible to failure. And when a problem occurs, you want your service technician to get the system up and running as soon as possible. The system should be designed so that parts such as hard drives can be replaced easily in the field, rather than requiring that the entire recorder be sent away for repair.
Technicians should be able to diagnose a problem quickly and expedite a Return Merchandise Authorization for a replacement. LED lights on a recorder can speed a diagnosis, and QR codes are now being introduced for scanning via a smartphone to quickly access product information including product serial codes, warranty status and troubleshooting detail. Not every vendor offers this level of serviceability.
Video-surveillance systems should be able to do much more than capture video. Security executives with financial institutions, including credit unions and community banks, want their systems to help them fight fraud. Using a combination of video, transaction data and analytics technology, the best of the fraud-fighting systems can provide investigators with a daily report highlighting potential crimes. Someone spending an excessive amount of time in front of an ATM without conducting a transaction could be installing a skimming device, for example, just as one individual performing multiple transactions could be indicative of cash harvesting. Sessions such as these can be highlighted in a daily report with a link to the corresponding video, allowing an investigator to quickly review them and take appropriate action. Some systems can also correlate video and data with license plate numbers, faces and even colors, enabling investigators to quickly narrow searches based on specific criteria.
Underlying fraud detection, health monitoring and similar capabilities is another important feature for any banking-surveillance solution — centralized management. If you have more than one location, centralized management is critical. You don’t want to have to rely on branch personnel to monitor the performance of their recorders and cameras, or set user privileges and recording parameters. These are tasks better performed at your financial institution’s headquarters. The same applies to fraud detection. If you’re responsible for 500 branches, you want one report of suspicious ATM sessions, not 500.
Further, if an incident occurs at one bank branch, investigators should be able to quickly search across your entire organization for similar incidents without leaving their offices. The time and cost savings are considerable and add up quickly.
More banks are also starting to explore how they can use video to improve customer service and branch performance. They’re checking customer traffic and staffing levels, as well as merchandising and compliance with marketing promotions. If you think of a video-surveillance system as a window into every branch, you may be able to interest your colleagues in operations and marketing in taking some ownership of it.