Milestone IP Video Management Software Protects Denmark Bank For More Than A Decade

Milestone XProtect open platform IP video management software has proven to be a reliable and scalable security solution for AL Bank for more than a decade.

Founded in 1919, Arbejdernes Landsbank (AL Bank) is one of the largest banks in Denmark with about 1,000 employees in 66 branches and 200,000 customers. Ten years ago AL Bank switched analog videotapes running separately in various locations to a network video solution based on Milestone Systems open platform IP video management software. Today Milestone manages a mix of 650 cameras for monitoring the safety of customers, employees and assets in all of the bank’s locations around the country, providing both central and local access.

Like so many other banking institutions in the 1990’s, AL Bank installed a series of analog CCTV cameras with images that were manually managed in separate locations. They replaced the analog surveillance in phases along with the renovation of branches, and over the next decade the bank's switch to Milestone IP video software has proven to be a good return on their security investment.

“The costs we incurred for purchase and installation of the network video surveillance solution in our branch offices nationwide were very quickly earned back. Operation and management of the IP video is much less time consuming than the analog systems, and demand much less in resources,” said Henrik Krog-Meyer, the manager with overall responsibility for security at AL Bank.

The security system runs on individual networks for each location with a central office team who monitors and manages the surveillance of AL Bank. It saves a lot of time -- and thereby money -- to have remote access that means they do not have to send people out to each branch.

The video cameras record 24 hours a day, both outside by the ATMs and inside the banks, installed strategically. Some analog cameras continue to be used by running them through Axis video encoders to digitize their video data for viewing and archiving in the Milestone XProtect Enterprise software. Network video cameras are purchased when new hardware is required or more locations need to be monitored.

”The primary goal is to protect our customers and employees. We also use the surveillance to manage card abuse at the ATMs where we document the cash and card transactions with the video recordings. And the video is indispensable when it comes to robberies -- here the cameras function both as prevention for the safety of personnel while the video provides great assistance for the police in their work to resolve the crimes,” said Henrik Krog-Meyer.

He reports that the police view the exported high quality video with the entire course of actions. The Milestone software allows zooming in to get more details of a perpetrator, which makes it easier for comparing images with photos in criminal databases.

In 2005 a law was passed in Denmark allowing video surveillance to be used by banks outside their buildings, in addition to internally. The Danish Financial Advisory Council reported that there have been 21 percent fewer bank robberies as of October compared to 2008. AL Bank had previously experienced robbery attempts about once a month, but that number has fallen significantly, as well. One of the reasons pointed out by Krog-Meyer can be that banks have installed more video surveillance that acts as a general deterrence.

Sometimes other banks contact AL Bank about incidents, if their customers’ cards register misuse in AL Bank ATMs, for example, and they send a CD with the relevant video to the police for these investigations. All of the video surveillance recordings are otherwise deleted automatically after 30 days, which is configured in the Milestone software.

AL Bank's security needs have been well covered so far by the Milestone open platform, which is upgraded to new software versions over the years as more features are developed. Scaling it out to the widespread branches has been easy, including the addition of five locations after acquisitions of Roskilde Bank earlier this year. Three of those branches were using Milestone already.

“Over the last ten years we have upgraded our surveillance via the Milestone platform, and thereby ensured ongoing future-proofing of the security we want for our customers and employees. And news of this has spread: companies from other countries have come to visit us to see how well this technology works. They were impressed,” Krog-Meyer said.

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