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Enhancing ATM Security

New video monitoring solutions allow deployers to remotely track ATM networks, bolster security and more efficiently handle transaction disputes.

To combat ATM crime and manage transaction-based disputes, many banks and IADs have installed video security systems in the past decade. In some areas, such as New York City, surveillance cameras are legally required at all ATMs.

 For years, closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems and digital video recorders (DVRs) were the mainstay of security efforts. ATM operators around the globe installed large, expensive cameras, hooked up costly broad- band networks and hired security guards. Closed-circuit systems, however, proved costly to maintain, difficult to use and unreliable in many cases.

Security cameras installed outside ATMs are easy targets for vandalism and security guards need to be paid. In addition, reviewing footage from an entire day to find a specific moment is not only time-consuming and challenging, it’s also impossible if a DVR malfunctions.

 Now, thanks to more affordable, advanced technology, a growing number of ATM owners are implementing innovative video monitoring solutions that enable them to remotely monitor ATM networks, bolster security and more efficiently handle transaction disputes.

Global increase in ATM crime and transaction disputes

 In many areas of the world, ATM-related crimes — including robbery, fraud, vandalism and even theft of the entire machines in smash-and-grab raids,  have become increasingly commonplace. Customers making withdrawals, retailers making deposits and even the machines themselves can be at risk without proper security.

 Robberies at ATM machines are common in Brazil, for example, according to a U.S. Department of State website on international travel safety. The use of skimmers to steal card data has increased so significantly that ATMs in Ireland and other places now host warning signs. In other countries, including Vietnam, rising rates of ATM crime have prompted banks to post security guards at ATMs.  In some instances, inadequate security systems have prompted victims of ATM robberies to file civil lawsuits against ATM operators, resulting in thousands of dollars in legal fees.  Protecting themselves and customers from crime is a priority for ATM operators. But another challenge is to effectively manage transaction-based disputes such as errors in deposit and withdrawal amounts. As more people are using ATMs, the number of disputes, and the cost of managing them, has grown.

Pitfalls of a video system

ATM owners that are banking on outdated video surveillance systems to combat crime and handle transaction-based disputes should beware of the pitfalls. Crime movies often feature a scene where an old-fashioned security camera is destroyed during a bank robbery or malfunctions later, when detectives try to review the tape. That might seem like just a Hollywood scenario, but similar incidents occur in real life. News media often broadcast images from ATM robberies that were captured by outdated, obsolete equipment.

ATM crime in the United States

According to a U.S. Department of Justice report on ATM-related crimes, statistics show that:

  •  Most ATM robberies are committed by a lone offender using some type of weapon against a lone victim.
  •  Most occur at night, with the highest risk between midnight and 4 a.m.
  •  Most involve robbing people of cash after they have made a withdrawal.
  •  Robberies are somewhat more likely to occur at walk-up ATMs than at drive-thru ATMs.
  •  About 15 percent of victims are injured.

Choosing a video monitoring solution

Along with fighting crime, a comprehensive monitoring solution can help ATM owners minimize the cost of transaction disputes and enhance brand image. With closed-circuit systems and DVRs, however, resolving such disputes can be challenging. Labor costs can add up quickly if employees spend hours searching footage, and sometimes the right evidence is never found to properly resolve the dispute, which can destroy consumer trust.

 Comparing Video security surveillance systems vs DVR/CCTV

Attributes

Video security surveillance system

DVR/CCTV

Main function

Video monitoring of suspicious events

Video recording

Reaction speed on event

Instant

Unpredictable

Event tracking method

Remote previewing by events

24/7 guard video tracking

Event search options

Remote photo or video search by events

All video review

Storage options

Files are stored in JPEG/AVI format in server/ATM

Files stored in video archive

Camera position

Inside or outside of ATM

Outside of ATM

Maintenance

No or low effort required

High attention/cost

Required bandwidth

Narrowband

Broadband

Some of the latest solutions enable users to remotely monitor video footage, manage large ATM networks and process transaction information into a user-friendly format. For example, Lithuania-based BS/2 has introduced a new generation video surveillance solution, ATMeye.iQ, which provides a more efficient, reliable and secure way to record, review and archive video footage. The ATMeye.iQ solution features intelligent video analytics with real-time monitoring.

Unlike old-fashioned security cameras installed outside ATMs to record around the clock, cameras integrated with ATMeye.iQ can be installed inside the machine to reduce the risk of damage from vandalism or inclement weather. The cameras activate only during transactions and suspicious events such as tampering.

With ATMeye.iQ, users can quickly and easily sort and select images by searching a specific card number, transaction time, terminal ID or event on a remote server.

First Data, a global provider of e-commerce and payment processing services, implemented ATMeye.iQ to protect its European ATM network. Should a crime or transaction-based dispute occur, First Data can quickly and easily review and retrieve video to resolve the conflict or help police by using ATMeye.iQ.

Video monitoring is crucial to the security of an ATM network, but an outdated system is easy for thieves to thwart. In addition,a low-quality video solution can make it harder for a financial institution to handle transaction disputes. Investing in a mod- ern video solution can increase security and ultimately reduce costs.

Successful implementation of video monitoring

By relying on BS/2’s new generation video surveillance solution ATMeye.iQ , First Data has:

  •  Reduced risks of ATM crime from intelligent recognition of malicious actions.
  •  Expedited response time with the ability to quickly and conveniently obtain photos and videos.
  •  Improved efficiency and accuracy in dispute settlements with around-the-clock centralized management.
  •  Reduced unresolved disputes by more than 20 percent.
  •  Minimized costs, such as security, integration and technical support.
  •  Enhanced brand image and reputation.