Six Ways Banks Are Fighting Fraud with Video Based Business Intelligence
- By Debi Sumner
- Mar 16, 2016
Every year, banks and credit unions suffer millions of dollars in losses from fraudulent activities like the use of lost or stolen debit cards, the passing of counterfeit checks, and fraud against bank deposit accounts. In fact, the American Bankers Association estimates that the latter crime cost the industry $1.9 billion in losses in 2014 alone (2015 ABA Deposit Account Fraud Survey).
Video surveillance is helping financial institutions investigate and solve these kinds of crimes with video evidence that verifies what took place. Surveillance systems with video-based business intelligence go one step further by incorporating ATM and teller transaction data, as well as powerful analytics, to proactively pinpoint fraud. These systems save investigators valuable time and reduce case values by alerting them to suspicious behavior sooner.
Here’s six ways that banks and credit unions are using intelligent video surveillance systems to improve fraud defenses:
1. Monitoring Access to Sensitive Areas with Real-Time Alerts
It’s critical that bank employees follow procedure, especially when it comes to handling cash. Most financial institutions mandate dual control procedures, which require the presence of two employees for tasks like transferring cash drawers or opening safes. Any deviation from policy could signal someone’s intent to commit a crime.
Using integrated video analytics, financial institutions can monitor specific areas of interests in their branches and trigger an alert when a physical event – like a safe opening – takes place. Security staff can set up automated reports detailing each time the safe was opened and check the corresponding video to see what took place.
Similar notifications can be used in a variety of ways to activate video recording when a night deposit box opens, or when someone enters a money room or vault.
2. Safeguarding Surveillance Cameras with Active Tampering Alarms
Fraudsters often try to cover their tracks by dismantling or blocking security camera views in advance of a crime. With intelligent video, banks and credit unions can be immediately notified if something is obstructing a camera’s field of view.
This could be as innocent as an employee stacking inventory too high and inadvertently blocking the camera, or in outdoor situations, a tree branch that’s blown over in front of the camera. But it could also be someone spray-painting the camera lens that’s capturing activity around the ATM. Analytics can help ensure video is protected by generating real-time alerts if cameras are blocked or moved.
3. Uncovering Internal Theft and Fraud
Unfortunately, employee theft and fraud is a reality for many financial institutions. One anti-fraud organization in the U.K., CIFAS, recently noted an increase in the number of bank staff stealing from customers. The organization saw a trend of fraudulent activity, caused by employees who were manipulated account information for their own gain.
A recent example of this was also reported in Alabama, where a bank employee was opening accounts in other people’s names for the purpose of receiving fraudulent tax refunds.
Video can help uncover this kind of fraud by making it easy for banks to review employee behavior. If something seems suspicious, managers can investigate the video to see what actually took place.
4. Detecting the Installation of ATM Skimming Devices
For banks and credit unions, ATMs are a fast and convenient way to provide service to customers at all hours. But ATMs are increasingly vulnerable to criminals, who are becoming more adept at installing skimmer technology. One report by the U.S. branch of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Pace University in New York, said North Americans are particularly vulnerable to skimmer fraud because of the high number of ATMs that exist in the U.S and the fact that Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) chip card technology is not fully implemented yet in America.
Video-based business intelligence solutions help banks combat the installation of skimming devices by detecting when someone is standing at an ATM for an extended period of time, but not making a transaction. Banks can receive alerts in real-time, allowing them to quickly investigate, remove a skimming device if one has been installed, and proactively alert customers who may have been impacted.
5. Discovering Cash Harvesting and Suspicious Behavior at ATMs
Similarly, intelligent video can identify when cash harvesting and other suspicious behavior is taking place at an ATM.
Cash harvesting occurs when the same person uses several cards to make multiple transactions, such as a criminal making withdrawals using lost or stolen cards. By deploying the right kind of analytics over their ATMs, banks and credit unions can quickly detect potential incidents of cash harvesting through automated system reports on this kind of activity.
6. Finding Check and Identity Fraud
According to the 2015 AFP Payments Fraud and Controls Survey, checks are the payment method most often targeted for fraud. Most experts agree that the majority of bad checks are written on new accounts. Banks can protect themselves and their customs with an intelligent video solution that enables them to rapidly locate checks with low numbers, decreasing the amount of time it takes to find fraud. They can also search and sort through accounts opened online – another area often targeted by criminals – by searching account numbers containing an online identifier. If someone’s account has been compromised, security officials can pull up the corresponding video to find the culprit.
A solution that integrates clear surveillance video with transaction data and highly-accurate analytics can also help uncover identity fraud. Video can be used to identify imposters, but it can also help ensure banking staff are following protocol by always asking customers for proper identification.
As technology evolves, criminals are finding new ways to commit fraud. Intelligent video solutions are helping financial institutions stay ahead of the curve by rapidly detecting fraudulent activity and providing the data needed to stop it sooner.