When an incident or disaster occurs, security and fraud investigators go to work. They must be able to rely on innovative processes and tools that allow them to swiftly locate and analyze the information needed to determine the proper resolution or action. Credit unions, like New York-based Visions Federal Credit Union, need intuitive solutions that can be leveraged across multiple departments in a moment's notice to be more efficient and effective in today’s challenging environment.

To stay up to speed with a constantly shifting risk landscape and progressing threats, credit unions must not only plan for today, but also look ahead to ensure the use of the most innovative technologies and solutions. As new trends and strategies emerge and take precedence, security leaders should stay prepared and continuously work to gather as much data and intelligence as possible to modernize, simplify and automate their business.

Most credit unions are currently aiming to achieve common goals: satisfactory customer engagement, enhanced security and fraud reduction. Moving forward, these components will be significantly affected by the following trends and technologies.

Big Data and Analytics
It has become clear that for credit unions to predict and identify threats in real time, intelligent data analysis that links cyber and physical security must take place to present a unified risk scenario to the appropriate analysts and operators. Today’s — and tomorrow's — analytic applications will propel increased situational awareness and provide instant notifications to facilitate immediate action.

When you think of a credit union’s security infrastructure, cybersecurity may not immediately come to mind, as hacking and malware are often thought of as separate from physical security efforts. But the two are quickly becoming intertwined, as bad actors now use more sophisticated and unique methods to gain access to networks, data and assets. It is therefore critical for credit unions to install regular updates and firmware on network devices and practice proper password hygiene. As more and more physical security devices become connected through the Internet of Things (IoT), encryption and vulnerability testing are also essential to ensure secured data transfer.

Automation and Modernization
Modern-day solutions must allow security teams to dedicate time and effort to relevant tasks and efficient responses, while leaving certain operations, such as firmware updates and camera verification, up to automation. Modernized processes will need to take advantage of prominent trends, including the IoT and the cloud, while elevating the customer experience and overall loyalty.

Advanced Investigative Tools
Security systems will continue to develop to support streamlined and simplified investigations. Biometrics are poised to impact the financial market tremendously, as technologies such as facial recognition and voice analysis create the potential for banks and credit unions to strengthen identification processes and track fraudsters.

Artificial Intelligence
For a customer satisfaction strategy to be successful, it must focus on more than just one element, addressing a combination of components that include all aspects of the customer experience. Financial organizations should consider leveraging the latest in artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to help unlock the potential of automation and innovation as it results to customer service. For example, intelligent systems can analyze customer activity by performing accurate people counting, tracking customer behavior (such as dwell times and wait times), and evaluating branch action. By leveraging this information, institutions can make informed decisions that can impact efficiency and safety, and inevitably enhance customer satisfaction.

Advanced, intelligent strategies and solutions such as those described above can easily help credit unions achieve higher levels of efficiency. Modern video management systems use enhanced functionality to simplify and streamline fraud investigations and security processes — empowering fraud investigators to make the most of their time. Video analytics, intelligent search functions, high-resolution surveillance cameras and data mining tools can also positively impact financial branches in several ways:

  • Time savings. Video management solutions are valuable in helping to reduce the time it takes to access live and recorded video. Investigators are empowered to rapidly complete investigations and optimize employee productivity — accomplishing more in less time and focusing more on reducing fraud and loss rather than using the system.
  • Increased collaboration. Investigators can quickly and easily share video with multiple stakeholders, including internal or external partners and law enforcement agencies. Within the branch, the solution isn't confined to one area. A variety of departments can leverage the power of video surveillance, which doesn't require a video "expert" to navigate.
  • Enhanced user experience. Innovative technologies are designed to be intuitive and are built on a simplified user interface that incorporates easy-to-use controls and a modern design. This empowers operators to seamlessly perform tasks, make more informed decisions and align workflow. Security leaders can also see how the most critical or impactful cases are being handled and how these issues contribute to overall risk management.
  • Reduced training requirements. Credit unions can avoid significant and complicated new employee training with intuitive, intelligent platforms. This approach eases training requirements and facilitates a smooth transition for new users, allowing them to get up to speed in minutes and delivering substantial ROI to the organization.

Technology solutions are a crucial component of any credit union’s security strategy and leaders must look for solutions that provide the timely insight needed to lower the investigation threshold to improve customer satisfaction and help reduce fraud loss.

Visions Federal Credit Union knows about these topics firsthand. Member-owned and committed to the communities it has served for more than 50 years, Visions works diligently to provide a safe place to keep and grow earnings while lending the money that makes its members’ dreams a reality. Headquartered in Endwell, N.Y., the credit union counts $4.2 billion in assets, has 51 branches and more than 100 ATMs, and boasts more than 200,000 members and 650 employees.

With a growing risk landscape to consider and an extensive network of branches to secure, Visions Federal Credit Union wanted to stay one step ahead of its security and fraud reduction effort, so it began searching for a new technology vendor to partner with through the next evolution of its business. It sought to incorporate more advanced technology into its network of branches to provide managers and executives with the tools necessary to address any security or safety incidents more proactively and quickly close investigations.

Furthermore, the credit union was looking to bring internal security processes back into the security department and away from the branch leaders to enable them to focus on revenue-driving activities and member service.

The credit union achieved the ability to identify threats and vulnerabilities in real-time, helping personnel mitigate risk, ensure operational compliance and improve fraud investigations. Open video surveillance platforms and advanced analytics provide immediate intelligence and unprecedented protection from fraud, enhancing the customer experience while also safeguarding assets. The credit union’s end-to-end solutions allow Visions to go far beyond traditional recording by capturing and identifying information to conduct more rapid investigations.

The organization has also been able to achieve its goal of bringing selected in-house security processes back into the security department, which allows the branch personnel to spend more time prioritizing member needs. Previously, branch managers were charged with selected branch security tasks.

“That has been one of the biggest value-adds to bring to the credit union and other departments,” says Amy Reilly, the Security/BSA Compliance Officer for the credit union. “We can automate many of the processes in our departments and remove the manual ones, such as pulling reports, helping us to reduce time and even access those reports from other locations as needed.”

Visions is a great example of a credit union that is leveraging processes and technology to simplify, automate and modernize their operations. As we can see through their efforts, technology is a great force multiplier that helps secure a branch footprint, alleviate risk, ensure operational compliance and improve fraud investigations.

As we move further into 2020, we expect to see Big Data analysis, video analytics, and IoT-powered devices allow credit unions to investigate threats in an even more intelligent manner and generate actionable intelligence from collected data points to achieve their strategic intelligence and business objectives. Organizations like Visions will be well-positioned to benefit from these new trends and lead the way into a more secure future, where organizations can respond to threats both proactively and reactively.