Banking security must be improved as new designs and technologies are being deployed
A retail banking tipping point is fast approaching with the state-side adoption of EMV technology

Banking faces a challenge: to reconcile major security concerns with improving technology in order to reflect modern, mobile technology and the self-service solutions that customers have come to expect from their non-banking retail experiences. This is probably the number one issue I discuss with my bank clients. Banks need to make the technology in their branches more automated, more digital, and more mobile. All while protecting their valuable infrastructure and customer security.

Increasing bank security

Today’s customers expect personalised solutions. The physical bank branch needs to reflect this. In all other retail operations, we are seeing a progression toward interactive, digital experiences. The same needs to happen with retail banking in order to ensure customer loyalty. “The increasing pace of digital adoption will see more innovation from large banks in their digital strategy – and simultaneously the reshaping of branch networks and front line roles to re-position physical distribution as a strategic asset,” say consultants at Accenture.   

Banking security must be improved as new designs and technologies are being deployed. The world is not getting any safer. According to a European ATM Security Team (E.A.S.T) 2015 report, “financial loss from skimming is on the rise,” up 13% when compared with 2013. This rise was largely driven by an 18% rise in international skimming losses. ATM related physical attacks rose 17%. And with physical attacks, collateral damage to equipment and buildings can be quite costly.

In the Northeastern United States, skimming attacks moved from ATM Machines to unprotected ATM vestibule doors, and we are now seeing this trend spread across the country. Just this week (May 27, 2015) a woman was robbed at knifepoint in a Massachusetts ATM vestibule. Some ask, why have an ATM Vestibule at all, if it just increases vulnerability?

Unprotected ATM vestibules

"The increasing pace of digital adoption will see more innovation from large banks in their digital strategy – and simultaneously the reshaping of branch networks and front line roles to re-position physical distribution as a strategic asset"

ATM Vestibules, or lobbies, are installed for many good reasons. For one, more convenient, 24/7 locations equals better customer retention for a bank, offering comfort and convenience. 24/7 access to ATMs, night drops, coin counters, online banking kiosks, and other self-service solutions are very much in demand (52 percent of bank consumers would like to see more interactive, digital screens in the bank). Second, ATM Vestibules protect customers from inclement weather and to provide a more comfortable banking environment (however, vagrancy can be an issue; therefore ATM Vestibules should require card access). The ATM vestibule environment must add security with proper security and surveillance equipment. They can’t just be for show.

Walk down any major city street and you will see the majority of pedestrians are utilising their mobile devices. They talk, shop, and bank on their mobiles. In major retail establishments, mobile devices connect to an in-store network of digital signage and apps to enhance the customer experience. So too are airports moving toward mobile integration. This is referred to as an “omni-channel” experience. We know that consumers have come to expect this - along with 24/7 accessibility - in the banking environment as well. 

Protecting consumer interests

Clearly, being customer oriented, for banks, now means installing self-service tools that are interactive and digital. My advice is to protect these improvements with the latest technology to prevent crime, such as robberies and skimming of customer identity. An overwhelming 86 percent of consumers trust their bank over all other institutions to securely manage their personal data (Accenture research 2015). The consumer is totally in the dark when it comes to the risks that come from walking into an ATM Vestibule that is not equipped with multiple surveillance cameras (doorway, ATM, 360 degree full coverage of environment to eliminate blind spots), skimmer detection, ancillary communication devices (ATM/Banking phones), and proper lighting at all times. 

A retail banking tipping point is fast approaching with the state-side adoption of EMV technology, another security measure to protect customer data (EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa; it is the global standard for integrated circuit cards, more commonly referred to as “chip” cards, which are harder to skim than a magnetic stripe). In retail, liability for data breaches is shifting from the card issuers to the merchants, with an original shift deadline of October, 2015. This is causing major upheaval for merchants, who are dealing with not only implementing new EMV technology, but who are also dealing with the onset of the busy holiday season right around the corner. Additionally, not all banks have issued EMV debit cards to date.

Once the merchant deadline has passed (critical mass will most likely occur later in 2016 – merchants are lobbying congress to push the deadline back), and consumers are used to using “chip-and-pin” contact EMV cards instead of mag-stripe “swipe” technology, retail banking will undoubtedly follow suit. Also on the horizon, and perhaps more importantly, is mobile technology adopting near-field-communications, or NFC, which enables smart phones and other devices to establish a radio communication without physical contact. EMV chips can also be contactless. Only when bank access control and retail banking allows for NFC technology will we truly be able to offer millennial customers the personalised and secure banking they desire.  Contact, “chip-and-pin” EMV will soon be obsolete, and NFC/Contactless EMV will take over. 

This is an exciting time for every industry as we move forward and re-imagine customer experiences, while improving security at the same time. Millennials are taking over and replacing Boomers, and have come to expect digital and personalised solutions. Successful businesses are adapting to this trend, driving holistic loyalty programs based on multiple elements, especially customer experience and security. Self-service, automated, and personalised solutions can provide an infrastructure backbone for added security features, as well. 

Download PDF version

Author profile

In case you missed it

Smart home access control growth and the future of door security
Smart home access control growth and the future of door security

There’s growing noise around smart homes and smarter security. You’ve probably heard it. But there is a place where access control and more have been smart for decades: the workplace. Home automation and IoT are still playing catch-up with the commercial sector. A new insights report from ASSA ABLOY and IFSEC Global — “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018” — measures just how fast consumer smart technology is running. According to a survey conducted for the report, 61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system. Energy monitors, home CCTV cameras, intruder alarms and smart door locks are the most popular, according to the report. All these functions, of course, have been available to businesses for years.61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system Educating the smart home consumer Paradoxically, report data also questions how much consumers really know about their smarter home. A surprising 42% of those surveyed, for example, were unaware they could control a smart door lock from their phone. In fact, many leading smart door lock models offer this feature, delivered by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and an app. Despite a wealth of features offered by the latest smart door locks — remote and location-based locking/unlocking; voice activation; timed access; emailed entry alerts; and integration with smart camera and lighting systems — most people still have limited knowledge of their capabilities.  Smart technology is increasingly becoming the new norm in terms of home security  Only 14% of survey respondents described themselves as “very familiar” with what a smart lock can do. Even though most of them probably use smart access control solutions at their workplace. Secure homes through smart technology Monitoring and security are not the only drivers for smart home adoption. We humans also love convenience, and modern living presents us with problems that smart home technology can solve. Ironically, given the report’s findings, it takes a smartphone to really unlock the convenient possibilities of smarter living. The device that’s “always to hand” is central to the newest generation of smart door locks.A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out If homeowners wish to remotely manage property access for friends and family, many smart door locks oblige. You let in guests remotely, send them a virtual digital key, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door. It is just as easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore. This is a significant improvement over sharing physical keys — or hiding one under the doormat. We cannot be totally sure where a metal key ends up and have no way to track or cancel it once it’s “out in the wild”. Commercial access control offers such functionality as standard, of course.  In addition, smart door locks offer more than just stand-alone operation and clever functions. In a domestic setting, magic happens when locks work in harmony with a home automation system, connected by protocols like Z-Wave, ZigBee or Wi-Fi. "Smart" security on the move  The smartphone is becoming a remote control for managing a connected life beyond just home (and even workplace) security. According to Accenture, the parcel delivery services market will grow by $343 billion by 2020. Just like home security, convenience is a major driver of change. Homeowners can send guests a virtual digital key to their phones, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door A recent PostNord pilot in Sweden aimed to remove the inconvenience of waiting home for a postal delivery. Selected customers of some major Scandinavian e-retailers could choose to have parcels delivered inside their front door, if it was equipped with a Yale smart door lock.  Home delivery is among potential smart services covered in “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018 ”. When asked whether the ability to receive parcels securely in a porch or lobby would make them more likely to invest in a smart door lock, 79% said it would.It is easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore Holiday rentals and smart home tech ASSA ABLOY research published in 2017 forecasts continued growth in the European holiday rentals sector (at 5.8% CAGR). Smart door locks are also making an impact here, at both ends of the market: for service providers — agents and homeowners — and for travellers. A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out, without creating extra work or staff costs. Both Intersoft, in Croatia, and Hoomvip in Spain have built holiday rentals management systems around an app and the ENTR® smart door lock. Agents issue, revoke, track and manage virtual keys for all their guests, saving everyone time and hassle. Travellers use their phones and an app to unlock their apartment. For these visitors the smartphone is already an essential travel accessory. It is a boarding pass, a credit card, a travel guide, and a postcard home... why not a door key, too? And if this key is backed by a trusted home security brand — and a company with vast experience in the mature market for commercial “smart” security — better still.

Bosch startup SAST addresses need for evolved solutions in security industry
Bosch startup SAST addresses need for evolved solutions in security industry

Security and Safety Things GmbH (SAST) is a new company that has announced its vision for an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the next generation of security cameras. The Bosch startup plans to build a global ecosystem for the development of innovative security camera applications. Based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), SAST provides libraries, an API framework, and codecs for developers to work with. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphone applications. We presented some questions to Nikolas Mangold-Takao, VP Product Management and Marketing, about the new venture, and here are his responses: Q: Why a new company now? What technology innovations have made this a good time to launch this company? The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform"Mangold-Takao: From a technical perspective we see two main drivers: increasing computing power at the edge and increasing internet connectivity, which will enable devices to directly communicate with each other and bring new technologies such as artificial intelligence also to the security and safety industry. At the same time, we see that this industry and its users are hungry for more innovative solutions – addressing new security needs while at the same leveraging the possibility to improve business operations for specific verticals, e.g. retail and transportation. The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform for this industry. Q: Why does SAST need to be a separate entity from Bosch? Mangold-Takao: SAST is setup as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group. We wanted to make sure that SAST is able to underline its role as an industry standard platform across multiple players. SAST is open to get additional investors and is being setup as a startup in its own offices in Munich to foster the environment where speed and innovation can more easily take place. Having said that, several entities of the Bosch Group are very interesting partners for SAST. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphone applications Q: Please explain your "value proposition" to the industry. Mangold-Takao: We will bring new innovations and possibilities to the security and safety industry by providing an open, secure and standardised Operating System for video security cameras, to also address pressing issues such as cyber security and data privacy concerns. Devices that run then with the SAST operating system will work with an application marketplace provided and operated by SAST. Integrators and users can then use these apps from this marketplace to deploy additional functionality on these devices. With our platform we will be able to build up a community of app developers, including the ones not yet developing for this industry who have expertise in computer vision and artificial intelligence. Q: It seems what you are doing has parallels with the Apple and Android "app" stores. How is your approach the same (and how is it different) than those approaches? We are setting up SAST as a user-centric company and involve selected users very early on in the process"Mangold-Takao: The approach is similar in the way that we plan to generate revenue by operating the application marketplace and thus participate in the app revenue. The difference is that there is much more needed than apps and cameras to create a complete working solution addressing a user problem in this industry – we need to make sure that our own platform as well as the new applications being created will work as a part of an end-to-end solution. Q: "Critical mass" and wide industry participation seem to be requirements for your success. How will you achieve those goals? Will you involve integrators, consultants, or other parties in addition to manufacturers (to drive awareness)? How? Mangold-Takao: SAST is in close exchange with device manufacturers, integrators and consultants, as well as application developers and large end-users at the moment to ensure that we are building the right platform and ecosystem for this industry. We are setting up SAST as a user-centric company and involve selected users very early on in the process. We will run dedicated programs and hackathons to attract app developers, already active and new to our industry. We will also run selected pilots with end-users throughout 2019 to ensure we have all partners involved early on. SAST sees the industry is hungry for more innovative solutions – with the retail vertical market a target for these solutions Q: What timeline do you foresee in terms of implementing these initiatives? Mangold-Takao: While we start with first app development programs and plan our first pilots already for this year, we are planning our commercial launch for end of 2019. Q: How does your new company relate to the new Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA)? Mangold-Takao: The Open Security and Safety Alliance has been working very closely with SAST over the past year, defining some important concepts and elements required. One of the most important elements is an open and standardised Operating System, specific to this industry, which will then bring forward new innovative technologies and solutions. SAST is actively working on this Operating System, based on Android Open Source Project (ASOP), but is evolved and hardened with industry-specific features. Q: What's the biggest thing you want the security industry to understand about SAST? What is your "message" to the industry? Mangold-Takao: Our message is simple: let’s build better security and safety systems – together! But for real, innovating an industry is a joint effort, we can only bring new innovation to this industry with partners who share our vision and are excited about new technology. At the same time, we strongly believe that our platform allows every partner to bring forward what they do best but also invite new partners to our industry.

What is the value of remotely monitoring a system's health and operation?
What is the value of remotely monitoring a system's health and operation?

When is it too late to learn that a video camera isn’t working properly? As any security professional will tell you, it’s too late when you find that the system has failed to capture critical video. And yet, for many years, system administrators “didn’t know what they didn’t know.” And when they found out, it was too late, and the system failed to perform as intended. Fortunately, in today’s technology-driven networked environment, monitoring a system’s health is much easier, and a variety of systems can be deployed to ensure the integrity of a system’s operation. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can remote monitoring of a security system’s health and operation impact integrators and end users?