Emerging Trends In Community Banks: A Look Inside Developing Technologies And Electronic Security

By Dustin Giltnane, Account Executive, Bankpak, Inc.

Bankers across the nation are all looking to update their physical security and equipment in a time when significant changes to technology are offering an exceptional opportunity to increase ROI while reducing the labor burden. Advanced analytics, micro-branches, real-time remote control of access points, centralized management, and cross-platform system integration are all pieces of a futuristic reality coming to life right now. Community banks in Tennessee are following the same technology and security trends.

Access Control and the ITM
We are living in an increasingly remote world where people interact less. The Interactive Teller Machine (ITMs) meets the challenge of the digital evolution of society. ITMs combine convenience, an enhanced customer experience, increased teller service hours, and increased teller productivity to capture the digital shift in today’s world. Younger demographics prefer digital banking or banking outside the traditional branch. Feedback from bankers within our footprint during coronavirus has shown that a successful ITM program can transition roughly 80% of conventional branch transaction volume to the ITM. With the ITM, new options start to evolve for community banks, including extended business hours and presence in new markets without traditional brick and mortar locations. 
Some community banks are taking the first steps towards micro branch deployment and combining access control with remote kiosks. The latest in access control technology allows banks to remotely grant access to their kiosks via video monitoring verification or debit card activated electronic readers. Remote branches, consisting of only ITMs, allow customers exclusive access where they can complete any transaction that would have traditionally required a live meeting at a branch. The technology progression of ITMs and access control makes it easier for community banks to enter new markets without the capital expenditure of a full branch.

As bankers across Tennessee look to improve their CCTV systems, a common theme is emerging. Bankers want to make the transition into Internet Protocol, IP, camera systems, allowing them to take advantage of advanced video management while also maximizing footage retention to better serve customers and protect bank personnel.

IP camera systems offer advanced features from simply preventing poor image quality to facial recognition and real-time analysis of biologically identifying characteristics. These features can be deployed in any banking environment to maximize the security of buildings or analyze ATM wait times 24/7. Bankers are finding these features to be useful not just for electronic security but also for improving the customer experience. 

Long term storage of camera footage is also at the forefront of the collective industry conscious. For example, elder abuse is challenging for fraud departments. Often the victims are not immediately aware of the incident or are reluctant to file a report. With storage costs going down and data compression getting better, CCTV data storage can be offered at more affordable prices. Community banks have transitioned their standard from 90 to 180 days of video footage retention.

System Integration 
Alarm, access control, and CCTV manufacturers are collectively moving towards an open Application Programming Interface, API. This technology allows third-party developers to integrate with a manufacturer’s software without a formal partnership and create software extensions that greatly enhance a product’s feature set. An open API allows the end-user to select from multiple software plugin packages that offer wide-ranging functionality. The result of this transition is cross-platform integration. With this technology, a branch manager will be able to open their computer and manage their building’s alarm, cameras, and network-integrated access points all from the same screen. Furthermore, a single user can manage multiple branches’ electronic security from a single user interface. 

Remote Management 
With network-integration comes centralized remote management of all electronic security components. The days of worrying about doors being left unlocked or alarms not being set are a thing of the past. The latest technology allows management to be immediately notified for a camera simply losing focus or a full branch lockdown at the end of the work-day. Activity notifications, health checks, and equipment monitoring are only the tip of the technology iceberg. IT departments can now actively manage access permissions, firmware updates, camera analytics, and track user his-tory all from a centralized location within one department at the main office, reducing the chances of mistakes and increasing security efficiencies.

When strategizing for the future of your bank’s security, know that things are becoming more accessible and powerful every day.

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