Trends to bank on
Editor / Provider: By Christina Phillips, a&s International | Updated: 11/27/2012 | Article type: Commercial Markets
As Internet banking continues its global ascension, the demand for conventional bank counter activity is on a downward slope, and in turn reliance on websites and ATMs increases. This major customer behavior change calls for proper infrastructure adaptations, as this represents a big opportunity as well as a challenge for the financial industry.
With growing numbers of self-serve financial transactions, video-based security systems are becoming more than just means to increase security, said Hans Kruft, Key Market Manager for Banking at Geutebruck, as outlined in the first part of this vertical feature.
“Facial recognition is increasingly used by banks for recognizing VIPs as well as criminals,” echoed Aluisio Figueiredo, COO of Intelligent Security Systems. “Integrations are also becoming a must, such as having a building management console where you can control the branches and various systems remotely.”
The following is a quick rundown of three trending technologies for the banking and financial sector.
Biometric technology has advanced to the point that it can be deployed in a cost-effective, scalable, easy-to-use manner, resulting in a number of bank projects in emerging markets like Africa, Southeast Asia, India and Latin America, where finger or vein scans are used for augmenting PIN security at ATMs, or voice recognition for remote telephone or online transactions.
Last month in Australia, ANZ Bank CEO Philip Chronican announced that the bank was exploring ways to introduce biometrics as a replacement for traditional payment identification methods. Over the next five years, the bank will direct US$1.5 billion to reshape the way they do business by investing in new technology. Kathleen Erickson, VP of Business Development, Fulcrum Biometrics pointed out that, "Banks in less developed countries go to villages throughout their countries to find small entrepreneurs that may need capital to expand their small business or get it started. These individuals often do not have transportation and cannot read or write, which can create challenges for authenticating identity and signing documents, but they have a good business and banks see business potential. Banks could benefit from a way to authenticate these individuals for loans. Currently, banks use laptops with a USB signature pad or fingerprint scanner, but now, embedded biometrics in portable and easy-to-use handheld devices like smartphones and tablets can be used."
Among all biometrics, fingerprint-based identification is the oldest and most reliable in numerous applications. This technology is well-suited for banks because in addition to enhancing security and preventing fraud, it provides added convenience for their customers as password is no longer compulsory. There is no need for training — customers simply put their fingers down. “For example, financial institutions in Latin America are embracing fingerprint technology for their ATMs,” said Phil Scarfo, VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Lumidigm. “Biometrics, traditionally employee-centric and confined to the back room, is now being put in front of the customer with confidence.” High reliability is critical at ATMs because their use is not typically supervised.
Many millions of people around the globe have had images of their irises taken and stored for enrollment in recognition programs such as national IDs and passport-free border crossings. A major advantage of iris recognition is its extreme resistance to false matches, thanks to its detail-rich images of the iris's intricate structures. There are constantly incidents where culprits duplicate tokens: skimmed ATM cards, and stolen usernames and passwords. With iris-scanning technology, duplication is virtually impossible and thus would eradicate many of the issues facing the industry today. “We are considering implementing iris scans, for identifying our VIPs,” hinted Jerry Feng, Head of Security and Investigative Services for Taiwan, Citibank.
Facial recognition is already used by financial institutions in regions such as Europe, South America and Japan. “Facial recognition is currently in use in a small number of institutions, to grant access into high-risk or high-sensitivity areas, or as a VIP or person-of-interest identification system,” said Charles Smith, Product Manager at Omniperception. “Some are still evaluating the use value and effectiveness in the consumer financial sector, but it will certainly become even more integrated into banking in the future.”
An HD-SDI based video surveillance system allows branch and security managers to view high-resolution, zero-latency video footage over existing coaxial cable in a closed, secured system, which equates to minimum system downtime and significant savings. On the other hand, with today's banks, IP-based network and storage infrastructure should already be in place, which means the cost is mostly about network cameras and management software.
“It is inevitable that megapixel cameras backed with services over IP will take dominance in the finance sector,” predicted Michael Brown, IT and Computers Director for VideoControlRoom. “Financial institutions are increasingly using integrated technologies that allow for real-time cross-referencing and utilization of data such as alarm/access control logs, video and transactional data via notifications of choice. This helps improve decision making and event response.” Often, system designers and operators err on the side of caution by wanting to know everything, presented in an organized manner.
“We have noticed a move away from scale-out commodity NVR server infrastructure to scale-up consolidated and virtualized NVR servers,” observed Scott Basham, Perimeter and Surveillance Security Systems Program Manager for APAC, Unisys. “The intention is to make significant cost savings by cutting out unnecessary hardware, power and cooling operational expenses.”
Which will come out on top?
In practice, there is no “right” answer or solution, as user environments and requirements can vary from one site to another, from one bank to another. “We have both hybrid DVRs and HD-SDI solutions in operation,” Feng shared. “However, in my opinion, they are both band aid solutions, for the trend is to go IP. To this end, by next year, we'll be 100-percent IP. IP allows us to implement a fully integrated and centralized system, one that facilitates remote visual verification of alarms cost-effectively.”