IP Video protects customers and assets, while delivering business insights
The very nature of banking makes its assets vulnerable. Fraudsters want to use banks' ATMs and hackers want to get to their data. For banks, enhancing security to protect their facilities, employees and customers' assets is a guaranteed way to protect their bottom line.
Investing in security must, however, be done in a cost-effective way; the industry wants to ensure that it simultaneously reduces risk and lowers cost. In the area of ATM fraud, where copied or stolen cards are used to skim accounts, IP video surveillance is an obvious place to start, but the technology can be used for so much more.
It can bring together the operational technology that typically controls physical devices, such as surveillance cameras in buildings and corporate IT networks, to create new synergies.
"We have built our IP video capability around a centralised model so that it can capture transaction information and synch it to video," says Peter Strom, president and CEO of March Networks. "If there is an incident at an ATM, we can enter the transaction data and quickly get the video recording for analysis. We can search thousands of locations very quickly and generate significant time savings. We can also see if a particular card has been used in other locations. We can reduce forensic investigation time down from days to minutes, and, in cases of identity theft, we can significantly reduce the number of times a card is used before detection.
"Banks are facing a growing number of compliance challenges and costs associated with compliance. At the same time, emerging fintech is helping to spawn pure digital or online lending institutions with much lower operating costs, which are also competing for customers. As a result, retail banks are increasingly looking to understand and improve the customer experience, and take advantage of their online and physical locations. With advances in video analytics and sensor technology, banks are discovering that they can leverage their investment in video technology to improve security and gain valuable customer insight," he adds.
As a leading provider of IP video software and systems, March Networks works with certified partners and customers around the world to derive valuable business intelligence from video streams. Its tools are helping banks to enhance security, mitigate risk, and significantly reduce losses from theft and fraud. Its integrated applications give organisations a clear view of what is happening within the business in order to support informed decisions around customer service and operations that could improve performance and profitability.
March Networks has grown rapidly into a global operator, and today counts more than 500 banks and credit unions among its clients using IP video solutions to protect their assets. The prime focus is on cutting losses from fraud, although there is a wide range of applications to protect people, infrastructure and systems.
A system built around banking
March Networks was founded by Welsh telecommunications entrepreneur Sir Terry Matthews in 2000. He understood that the roll-out of broadband networks could open up opportunities for technologies that could sit on those networks, and he believed that next-generation IP video would be among the most powerful of those tools.
"I took over the leadership role from Terry in 2003 when we started to focus our strengths on video compression, network management and data security," says Strom. "We built a scalable product to enable large enterprises with thousands of locations to manage their entire video infrastructure from any location. We also focused on cybersecurity. We chose the banking industry as a target market due to its strict regulations for data security and the need for standardisation and centralised management. We also felt very comfortable talking to the physical security and IT departments, which we knew was going to be a competitive advantage for us.
"That strategy helped us to grow internationally as we worked with multinational and global clients. The fact that we had attained such high cybersecurity and video-data management standards also helped us branch out into other industries," he adds.
One of the key advantages of March Networks' technology is the ability to conveniently manage all video feeds from one location through its Command Enterprise Management platform, even if the video recorders and cameras are distributed across thousands of ATMs, branches or other sites. Device configurations and software updates can be scheduled and pushed out simultaneously, and the health status of the video network can be checked with a few mouse clicks.
"Some banks do not manage their video systems centrally, so we also built a health-monitoring application so that if a camera or hard drive goes down, an alert is generated to ensure that it is fixed quickly," says Strom.
"Video surveillance is prevalent in the banking industry today, so the discussions about whether to use video are over. Now, the focus is turning towards how banks can leverage that investment. Forensic analysis and insight into branch activity are areas with great potential. Video can now be used to analyse customer activity: watching footfall in branches, queues, wait times and much more. It is the same in the retail world."
As banks continue to invest in branch transformation, which is seeing the traditional branch develop into something that increasingly resembles a retail outlet with roaming staff and interactive terminals, video analysis is certain to play a role in shaping the evolution of the physical location and the customer experience.
"Video will be part of how banks analyse customer behaviour in order to match branch experience to online experience as they continue the process of branch consolidation," Strom adds.
Simple, secure and set for the future
A key consideration for banks will certainly be the potential costs that are incurred from implementing a comprehensive IP video surveillance system that takes the technology far beyond monitoring branches and ATMs. The cost and the benefits must always be balanced, but because March Networks has designed its technology specifically for the banking industry, it understands not only the regulatory standards, but also the budgetary constraints.
With this in mind, the company has made sure that its technology is easy to install and maintain, and that it integrates with other tools that form part of the surveillance network. Its end-to-end solutions integrate with hundreds of third-party cameras, access control systems and ATMs to deliver an advanced security solution without the complexity of installing additional system upgrades or replacing hardware.
"We also have a network of value-added solution providers that have been rigorously vetted for their technological capability and their financial strength," says Strom. "We have a stringent certification process for more than 500 resellers of our products worldwide. With a growing number of international banks standardising on March Networks, it is critical that our resellers are trained to provide our banking customers with the same level of service and expertise anywhere in the world. The quality of our authorised solution providers is a direct reflection of March Networks, so we work hand in hand with our partners to ensure that the customer experience is always positive."
March Networks is also working with the banking industry to take its technology further. The company's next step is to leverage every area in which video can enhance operations, be it customer analysis or fraud detection.
"If a fraudulent incident occurs at an ATM, our cameras should have detected it, so we should be able to provide video evidence to investigators," explains Strom. "At the same time, we are working with other departments within the same bank that are finding new uses for video, whether in the branch to improve operations or to gain additional business insight. We believe that the more applications we deliver using the same video is of real value to our customers."
When it comes to security, few systems are built from the ground up to address the needs of banks, but the industry does have a tailor-made solution in the IP video surveillance market. All it needs to do now is explore its full potential.