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Camera view of courtyard outside a bank
Paul Fisher

Video management systems: more than a security tool for banking

By Paul Fisher | Aug 18, 2021


From regional credit unions to large banking institutions with nation-wide networks of locations, the banking industry requires appropriate security procedures to ensure safety of assets and people. These measures are mandated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and require a number of cameras and a certain camera resolution. 

With many financial institutions viewing security as a “grudge” expense and continue to run cameras on out-of-date systems or hard drives that are near end of life, banks that have transitioned to the use of modern video management systems quickly discover the return on investment. 

VMS systems can help solve common pain points for financial institutions while enhancing both their business operations and security.

Beyond security in financial institutions

As technology advances, devices such as security cameras have become more intelligent and offer the opportunity to address a multitude of use cases beyond traditional security. For example, video surveillance can monitor the building perimeter, transactional areas and more secure areas where cash is stored. 

Video systems equipped with video analytics can also offer other business optimization opportunities, including occupancy management in a lobby waiting area, or people counting analytics to determine busy times when additional staff or security personnel might be required.

Additionally, financial institutions over the years have begun to deploy VMS, but one of the barriers to upgrading their system is that many are compatible only with IP cameras, and not analog cameras which are still common in bank settings because of their long lifespan. 

If a user would like to deploy both analog and IP cameras, there are often additional licensing costs and additional hardware required for each camera to incorporate both into a single VMS. However, with Salient Systems, an end user can take a hybrid approach using both analog and digital cameras, without having to purchase additional licenses or hardware – offering a more seamless transition.

This flexibility enables banks to leverage their existing analog investments, with the ability to add IP cameras where needed – to take advantage of features such as people counting analytics or to help manage building occupancy. This can be accomplished without having to rip and replace the analog infrastructure and fully migrate to a fully digital solution.

Remote monitoring and enhanced investigations

While the uses for a video system are vast, the security advantages of a video management system offer plenty of value to financial institutions. When it comes to monitoring and conducting investigations, out-of-date software is both a cyber security risk and a hassle. 

For example, if a system isn’t networked, anytime an investigation is needed, the individual needs to physically drive to the specific bank branch to access video. This poses a logistical challenge for financial institutions with multiple branches spread across a large geographic area. 

However, a bank with a networked VMS, for example, offers the opportunity to conduct an investigation remotely with a fully intuitive system that can easily provide different views of an incident from multiple cameras. Additionally, multiple stakeholders can access this video data, not just a single operator, allowing for quicker, more thorough investigations.

Another benefit of a VMS, such as the one offered by Salient Systems, is that it offers intuitive server-side transcoding, which allows the server to directly communicate with the local display monitor – or mobile device screen – to adjust the megapixels needed to be displayed before the data is even transmitted. 

This not only decreases investigation times by eliminating slow downloads of the video but can also alleviate the bandwidth needed to place the video on the network – which is a common restriction handed down from IT departments to security operations.

By leveraging a VMS for enhanced security and operations, financial institutions will be able to see a more tangible ROI for their video security system. Coupled with the advancements in video analytics, banks can also take advantage of these new capabilities in cameras and video management systems for operational benefits that can add value far beyond security.