Banks have been reinventing themselves for a while now, trying to keep up with the way we access our money and other banking services. In fact, according to American Banker magazine “banking in 2018 is likely to be characterised by innovation and convenience, which ultimately puts the customer front and centre”. So, they are turning to technology to help – and one example of this is the application of ‘security’ devices to help them serve customers.
Banking and security have always gone hand in hand. It’s impossible to imagine a bank without it – after all, why would you entrust your life savings or investments to an institution with no security? Surveillance cameras have long been used here, providing monitoring and real-time coverage of all areas within a bank.
But those technologies are also being used to help banks at a business level, improving customer service, among other things.
Take dispute management, for example. What’s to stop me going to a cash point and withdrawing money, and then going to the bank and saying “I didn’t withdraw that money”, or “I only withdrew 100 euro, but it told me I withdrew 200”.
With clever surveillance, the bank can see the image of the person withdrawing the money and, with data from the ATM system, overlay the transaction information over the footage. The use of wide-angle Fisheye cameras and pinhole cameras can give enough information to deal with any dispute. The image of the user can clearly be seen at the same time as the transaction they performed at the ATM, using a Network Video Recorder (NVR).
With the advent of Deep Learning technology, this can also go further. Analysis of the image data can alert operators to any potential criminal activity. For example, if the camera detects another ‘face’ in the picture (for example over the shoulder of the person using the ATM). This could indicate a scenario where a second person is trying to see the pin code of the user over their shoulder.
ATMs are seen as high-risk areas, both for fraud and for robbery, since they are often outside in the street and the user is distracted while they make their withdrawal. Cameras can detect unusual behaviour, like a violent action, alerting an operator who could intervene. Even if that’s not possible, it can provide crucial evidence for further investigation.
This benefit also extends to the counters inside the bank. High volumes of financial transactions happen over those counters each day – from signing documents to handing over cash. Here, banks can use MonoVu cameras that have dual lenses with a bi-lateral close-up view – one focused on the customer and one on the clerk. Hi-res 4K image quality means that detail can be seen, enabling anyone investigating a dispute to see the notes and paperwork changing hands, for example.
‘But how is this customer service’, you may ask? Few people want to enter into a dispute and whoever turns out to be in the wrong, most are just happy this is resolved. The works case for customer service is if a dispute turns into a long conversation discussing the ‘facts’ as people remember them. With clear evidence, it can be easily resolved and everyone can move on. And with financial complaints going up*, this is an important trends for banks to pay attention to.
These aren’t the only business benefits to using smart surveillance technology in banking. People counting cameras can help to see how many people are entering, for example to help plan the day. Queue detection technology means managers can be alerted when a queue gets too long, so they can open another counter. With flow analysis, bank designers can see how people move within the bank and where the ‘popular’ areas are. All this information can help a bank to streamline its business and impact customer satisfaction.
The application of innovative ‘surveillance’ technology can be an important tool in improving customer service in banks. In an age where banking is struggling with reputation, customer service is an important focus area to help them stay relevant to the 21st century customer.
*According to the Financial Ombudsman in the UK, complaints to them rose by 26% between December 2015 and December 2016.
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