Video technology has reached a crossroads, says Daniel Cremins, global leader of product management at March Networks in Ottawa, Ontario.
“I think the moment when analog gives way to digital has arrived,” Cremins says.
Most credit unions’ technology now works fluidly with digital, which delivers many clear advantages over analog.
“Internet protocol [IP] video offers more flexibility than analog in distributing data because it’s not cable-dependent,” Cremins says. “It allows much higher resolution—in the megapixel range—and its high-definition capabilities offer more accurate colors compared with older technology. When you zoom in, analog goes grainy, but high-definition doesn’t.”
Although credit unions continue to use video technology to deter and investigate robbery attempts, Cremins says that’s no longer credit unions’ main worry.
“Fraud is now No. 1 among their concerns,” he says. “By integrating ATM to back-office cash transfers, using a certain algorithm, credit unions can detect suspicious cash transfers. A similar algorithm can flag suspicious activity such as successive ATM withdrawals by the same person, who might be using several skimmed cards from the credit union’s customers.
“We optimize performance so there isn’t a need to monitor constantly,” Cremins adds. “We can set it up so certain events trigger real-time observation. When investigating fraud, our equipment provides better details of faces and cash denominations than analog.”
Cremins says his company’s MegaPX ATM camera, introduced in September, uses high dynamic range (HDR) technology instead of wide dynamic range technology.
“HDR can adjust better to, say, an ATM user who looks like a silhouette against a direct sunlight background. It can also adjust to movement.”
The MegaPX ATM camera unit, which fits all ATMs, is small, easy to mount, and doesn’t produce undesirable levels of heat, according to Cremins.
“To produce them, we consulted with a lot of financial industry people about what the camera should do and how it should be designed,” Cremins says.