See What You’re Missing
Leveraging video for banking fraud investigation
- By Daniel Caggiula
- Feb 01, 2017
Fraud prevention, it’s time to get better acquainted
with your security team. You may see them in the
hallways, have a coffee with them in the breakroom,
and possibly join them on the dance floor at your
annual holiday party. But when it comes to sharing
valuable video data that can help investigation teams assess risk
faster and more accurately, fraud prevention and security still remain
largely siloed in many of today’s financial institutions.
Despite the current fraud tools these organizations have already
deployed, 43 percent report that their systems are so separate, they
have no view of customers’ activities across their entire enterprise1.
Further, 66 percent of respondents identified “controls that do not
talk to one another among different parts of the organization” as
the top barrier to improving anti-theft outcomes2.
And setting aside the billions of dollars lost to fraud each
year, banks and credit unions are keenly aware of the non-financial
impacts to their business. These include loss of productivity,
reputational impact, negative customer experiences, and possible
regulatory or other compliance issues3.
Video is often overlooked when it comes to fraud analysis, yet it is the
only data source that enables investigators to actually ‘see’ a transaction
happen, including who conducted it and how they appeared.
A video clip can reveal overtly fraudulent actions, like a skimmer
being installed in an ATM. It can also expose behaviors or
body language that would likely prompt further investigation,
such as someone who seems nervous, secretive or is attempting
to hide their identity. An investigator reviewing video of a flagged
transaction might even recognize someone who has committed
fraud in the past.
What’s more, the vast majority of financial institutions today
already have video surveillance solutions installed in their retail
branches, ATMs and corporate facilities for security purposes.
Some have gone further by deploying intelligent video solutions
that integrate seamlessly with transaction data to support enterprise-
wide search and investigation capabilities.
So, even from a monetization perspective, it simply makes
sense to leverage the video that security teams use every day to
help reduce fraud, as well as the time and cost required to investigate
Of course, a growing number of financial institutions are recognizing
the value of video for risk analysis and are already sharing
it informally between departments. Access to the video system,
however, typically remains with the security group, leaving fraud
investigators dependent on their equally busy security colleagues
to find, download and share the exact video clip they need. Multiply
that by the number of alerts an investigator must assess every
day, and it’s easy to see that this informal process can become
pretty inefficient rather quickly.
Ideally, financial institutions should extend video access to
their fraud investigation teams to support their ability to action
alerts much faster and resolve more cases over time. This requires
enterprise-class video management software that makes it easy to
partition access by group and individual users to ensure corporate
compliance and privacy standards are maintained.
Opening up access to the video system to authorized investigators
will not only help improve productivity, it can also lead to an
increase in the number of fraudulent incidents being identified by
experienced investigators who can spot suspicious behaviors that
might otherwise go undetected.
A Better Customer Experience
In addition, using video to improve analysis and decision-making
can help ensure a positive customer experience.
An investigator able to leverage video to help determine that
a flagged transaction is, in fact, fraudulent, makes it possible for
their financial institution to notify potentially affected customers
proactively—rather than having a customer discover the fraud
themselves. Alternately, using video to help confirm that a transaction is not fraudulent means that a customer’s transaction can
proceed as normal without service disruptions.
For example, an investigator reviewing a potentially fraudulent
check deposit can use video to watch the transaction happen. If
they see that a man deposited the check, but the account is held
in a woman’s name, they will likely assess the transaction as high
risk, put a hold on the funds and capture an image of the man for
further investigation. Alternately, if the video tallies with other details
of the transaction, they can more easily determine that it was
legitimate and the customer will see the funds in their account as
expected, with no surprises or unexpected account holds.
As every financial institution recognizes, while no customer
wants to be the victim of fraud, most are quick to contact their
bank to complain when they cannot access money in their account.
Some might even switch banks entirely if incidents happen
more than once or are particularly inconvenient.
A Clear Visual Record
Video can also play a critical role in helping resolve customer
disputes, providing investigators with a view into what actually
happened during an incident.
Perhaps a customer reports that their bank card is missing and
was used to withdraw funds from their account, but the bank can
see that the transaction in question was made using the correct
personal identification number (PIN). The investigator can also
see that the ‘stolen’ funds were withdrawn immediately after the
customer’s last transaction. It’s then quite easy for the investigator
to review recorded video to confirm their suspicion that the customer
left their bank card in the ATM after retrieving their money.
Because the customer session wasn’t completed, the next person in
line was able to withdrawal additional funds from the customer’s
account before the machine captured the forgotten card.
Thanks to the video evidence, the investigator is able to verify
exactly what’s transpired in the case and provide a detailed report
to ensure that the bank can resolve the dispute in a timely manner.
Clearing Cases Quicker
Combined with the existing systems fraud investigators already
use to assess risk, video delivers visual evidence that can help
clear cases faster, lower false positives and increase the returns on
video surveillance investments.
If your bank or credit union is not leveraging this valuable asset
already, now is the time to get the discussion started. If you’re
a fraud investigator, video represents a powerful addition to your
investigative tool belt. If you’re a security professional, extending
access to video internally will mark you as a thought leader,
and could result in a cost-sharing arrangement to support more
advanced video surveillance technology.
The bottom line is that video is a source of information financial
institutions are already collecting. The
challenge is to leverage it more extensively to
help improve customers’ experiences, better
protect assets and compete more effectively in
the dynamic financial landscape.
This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of Security Today.