|Centenary Bank went beyond governmental CCTV regulations with Hikvision products|
Uganda has traditionally faced a major problem in the banking sector: combating identity theft and fraud. Specifically, ATM fraud involving stolen cards and checkbooks has proved particularly troublesome.
In order to combat this, the Ugandan government ordered that all banks are required to install and maintain a CCTV system. While this step did improve the issue of ATM-related theft, much was left to the discretion of the individual banks. Areas, such as the type and number of cameras installed, as well as the duration that video is required to be kept, were not specified. As such, the quality of security varies greatly from bank to bank throughout the country.
Centenary Rural Development Bank, based in Kampala, used this as an opportunity to further distance itself from its banking competition by utilising Hikvision products for its security needs.
Centenary Bank, the fastest growing local bank in Uganda with over 60 branches and 30 ATM locations spread out through the country, is the first microfinance bank in Uganda. As such, its customer base has grown to include virtually every market segment up to corporate finance.
This obviously makes it a target for those looking to fraudulently benefit at the expense of Centenary's honest clientele. For this reason, Centenary Bank went above-and-beyond governmental CCTV regulations with Hikvision products in its successful strategy to combat ATM-based crime.
The Hikvision security solution Centenary Bank decided upon involves two main components that work in tandem: the DS-2CC592P (N)-IR3 Infrared Camera and the DS-8100HFI-S Standalone DVR.
The DS-2CC592P(N)-IR3 was selected because of its ability to effectively operate in differing lighting conditions and its reputation for high quality. Seruyange Livingstone, Marketing Consultant at Sekanyolya Systems Limited - the company responsible for developing Centenary Bank's security solution - noted the extreme variance of lighting conditions that businesses typically encounter, "In Uganda, the electricity situation is not optimal. One day, electricity will be normal and thereby allow a well-lighted interior for both the branch and ATM kiosk; but the next day, it could be a totally different situation due to rationing of electricity or other related problems. In any case, both the branch itself and the ATM kiosk may be significantly darker because of these problems."
As such, Centenary Bank decided an infrared camera would be the optimal fit for this unreliable situation. The DS-2CC592P (N)-IR3 features a minimum illumination of 0.1 Lux/F1.2 (0 Lux with IR), allowing it to enhance its imaging performance in total darkness. Additionally, features such as "Day & Night" auto switch, auto white balance, auto gain control, electronic shutter control and backlight compensation ensure this camera can automatically and immediately cope with whatever varying degrees of lighting that suddenly arise throughout the bank's working day.
The images captured by these Hikvision IR cameras are sent to an onsite DS-8100HFI-S Standalone DVR units. The DS-8100HFI-S was chosen for its ability to record and store a large amount of footage, as each DVR is equipped to handle up to 8 SATA HDD at 2TB each; Mr. Livingstone explained the importance of this issue: "Unlike most banks in Uganda, and actually throughout the world, we advise each bank branch to keep 3 months of video footage. To do so, a large amount of storage space is required, and as such, Hikvision's reputation for efficient storage management technology was a natural fit."
A further benefit of this DVR unit was the ability to utilise upto 16 channels, with up to 16-channel synchronous playback and up to 4CIF real time recording
A further benefit of this DVR unit was the ability to utilise up to 16 channels, with up to 16-channel synchronous playback and up to 4CIF real time recording; thereby allowing 16 separate IR cameras to independently function at each bank branch. These channels allow cameras to be placed at multiple critical junctures, such as at ATM kiosks and in the ATM stronghold - where currency is kept - to ensure a high level of security is maintained throughout the entire location.
This Hikvision-powered solution has already shown tangible benefits and results. Mr. Livingstone noted, "Simply the presence of highly visible cameras have proved to be a very strong deterrent to those who might be tempted to fraudulently use someone else's identity via an ATM machine."
Additionally, both the high resolution provided by Hikvision cameras and the large storage space in Hikvision DVRs have benefited customer-service aspects. Centenary Bank had noted that customers would come to an individual bank branch with a complaint of transaction irregularity. In many cases, these complaints would arise months after the actual transaction occurred. Now, by utilising detailed video footage, bank officials are able to positively determine the identity of the person engaging in the transaction, and the nature of the specific transaction - be it a withdrawal or something else entirely.
Results such as this have reinforced Centenary Bank's reputation as a secure banking location, and provided positive customer-service relations on a grassroots level.
Currently, Centenary Rural Development Bank is building new corporate headquarters in Kampala. This facility is tentatively scheduled to open in 2012. With this opening, Centenary Bank will centralise security-related issues for each of its branches and ATM sites throughout Uganda.
Mr. Livingstone explained, "What will happen in Kampala is that we will use Hikvision DVR units with larger storage space. This will allow our headquarters the ability to view, in real time, each branch's cameras. Additionally, we will also be able to record a branch's video footage and access the branch's recorded video footage, to better coordinate regional and intraregional security needs. This centralisation of security functionality will greatly help streamline the bank's overall security needs, and importantly, will greatly enhance efficiency and responsiveness."
It is proactive steps such as this that allow Centenary's many individual branches, as well as the overall corporation, the ability to stay one step ahead in their fight against fraud-related crime.