Banks, like other businesses, are taking precautions to make customers feel safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Placing physical distancing markers on the floor, sanitizing ATMs, installing plexiglass partitions at teller booths and requiring scheduled appointments are just some of the ways financial institutions are mitigating risks for customers.

Video surveillance can play a vitally important role right now, as banks look to ensure compliance with these new COVID-related safety measures. IP cameras with intelligent security analytics can help rapidly and accurately detect compliance issues, as well as other suspicious or atypical behavior. After all, banks must continue to monitor physical security even throughout the pandemic and today’s IP cameras with intelligent system-on-chip (SoC) technology can help lessen this burden with highly accurate notifications.

Over the past 15 years, security cameras have evolved from offering basic video motion detection to now offering analytics powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI analytics provide greater accuracy than the previous generation of analytics because machine learning algorithms are applied to the video, allowing the camera to detect specific objects.

So how exactly can AI analytics benefit a bank? Here are a few examples:

Loitering detection:  Many banks have issues with loitering, particularly in ATM vestibules. With IP cameras with an AI-powered loitering detection analytic, you can be notified when there is suspicious behavior near your bank machines. You can do this by configuring a defined zone around the ATM and a timeframe (the length of time you would consider to be loitering). For example, if your branch closes at 8 p.m., you can have the analytic trigger when a person is near the ATM after 8 p.m. for more than 10 minutes. If it’s after 8 p.m. and a person has been confirmed to be in the zone for more than 10 minutes, you’ll be alerted immediately so you can investigate.

Learn about suspicious vehicles: Amidst COVID-19, many people are avoiding going into public places if they don’t have to. In the banking world, this has meant that walk-in service has turned into scheduled visits, and the use of drive-thru ATMs have become a popular choice. When your camera is equipped with an AI-powered stopped vehicle analytic, you can detect when a vehicle has been sitting idle for too long.  For example, if you notice a car sitting at the drive-thru ATM for more than 10 minutes, you can be alerted. With a sophisticated video surveillance system, you can get alerts sent to your phone at any time of day so you can take a look at the car and get a clear shot of the licence plate.

Get alerts for zone breaches and wrong direction:  With COVID-19, many banks have limited the number of customers allowed inside at one time, and also placed directional markers on the floor to steer customers in the right direction. IP cameras with AI analytics can alert you if a person has entered an area that’s now off limits. They can also alert you if someone is moving in the wrong direction – for example, not following the foot traffic flow now in place.

The same analytics can also be applied outside the branch. For example, you can be notified immediately if a vehicle has entered the drive-thru ATM from the wrong way, or if a person or vehicle has entered a zone that’s normally off limits - for example, near your branch’s back door.

With previous generation video analytics, an animal passing by your security camera might have triggered an alarm. But the accuracy of today’s AI analytics eliminate false alarms, because the SoC technology has been trained to distinguish between a person and an animal. This type of intelligence allows you to spend time only on alarms and investigations that matter most.

Beyond security analytics, today’s IP cameras also offer many other great features that can help banks improve security and investigations. Cameras offering Digital Overlap High Dynamic Range (DOL-HDR), for example, are great for the challenging lighting conditions found in many branches. Banks often have glass windows and glass doors that can make capturing clear surveillance video particularly challenging.

Using a high-resolution (6MP) camera with DOL-HDR, you’ll be able to pick up a person’s face with great detail, or a licence plate on a vehicle, even in dynamic lighting. Sometimes ATM vestibules have very harsh lighting and using a standard security camera can result in a person’s face being blurred when camera exposures are mixed. With DOL-HDR, multiple exposures are blended so you get the best balance of lighting possible.

Now more than ever, it’s important for banks to focus on security and compliance. IP cameras with AI analytics can make this job much easier, reducing both false alarms and the burden on branch staff so banks can instead focus on their business.