Understanding your customer’s needs is a critical requirement in any business, but especially important if you are a security systems integrator selling video surveillance systems to banks and credit unions. While the walk-up nature and location structure of bank branches and facilities tends to be similar to many retail end-users’ needs, there are several differences that should be heeded when selling into this specialized market.
The first thing that’s important to understand about financial institutions is their branch structure. Whether you are selling to a small community bank or a Fortune 500 giant, you will be designing a video surveillance system for multiple physical locations. It could be a few branches in the case of a small community bank, or a tier-one bank with thousands of locations dispersed nationwide.
The Bank Manager isn’t the Security Manager
If you are accustomed to selling video surveillance systems to hotels, factories, hospitals or airports, you can assume that someone at the location will be viewing video, pulling evidence and possibly managing the system; however, in a bank or credit union branch, local staff are unlikely to have any interaction with the video surveillance system. Chances are there will not be anyone onsite viewing live video, searching for archived video or monitoring system health to make sure it is working.
Because no one at the banking branches will likely be tasked with overseeing the system, your customer will need a solution that can be centrally managed by a security team, fraud investigators and IT professionals working at corporate offices dozens or hundreds of miles away. They need the ability to search and retrieve video from any branch, monitor the performance of the system, manage recording parameters and update software remotely as required without leaving their office.
Reliability is another critical requirement in the financial services sector. Holdups, bad checks and ATM fraud can occur at any time and are a huge cost to banks and credit unions, so video evidence must be there when the security team goes looking for it. Presenting a solution with a track record for reliable performance is crucial, but any mechanical device can fail, so a robust health monitoring system that alerts IT staff or security management to a potential hard drive failure or a camera malfunction at a branch is equally important.
Some banks and credit unions may not want to delegate the management of their video surveillance system to the IT team, so solutions that can support optional managed services are a definite advantage. These managed services can be provided by the system vendor or serve as a recurring monthly revenue opportunity for you if you’re willing and able to take on the daily monitoring and health management for the bank.
A Powerful Marriage: Video & Transaction Data
In most cases, banks and credit unions use a video surveillance system to search for and retrieve video in response to a reported incident. For example, a customer receives a monthly statement, sees a series of suspicious ATM withdrawals and calls the bank for assistance. Video evidence of those exact transactions is more than likely available, but the amount of time it takes to find it also impacts the financial institution’s bottom line. This is why more and more banks see value in integrating their ATM and teller transaction data with the video surveillance system. Armed with an integrated video and data solution, the fraud team can simply perform a search based on the customer’s bank card number and then easily click through to the corresponding video. Instead of taking hours to find the required evidence, the investigation could be finished in under a minute.
However, not all incidents of ATM fraud are reported to a financial institution in a timely manner, so banks and credit unions are also looking to their video surveillance systems to proactively alert them to potentially suspicious events, such as ATM skimming and cash harvesting activity.