The retail experience continues to be a focal point for banks and credit unions alike, and security is no small part of this equation. The issue of safety is at the very base of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and it cannot be ignored by any financial institution. Employees and customers must feel comfortable in assuming that all reasonable efforts are in place to protect them against physical threats. Only then can they be comfortable doing business in the branch.
But to truly get to a point where danger is the least of their concerns, you need to have the pieces in place that protect them from harm.
Entrance control vestibules can stop threats at the front door — ensuring optimal security with minimum headache. The following will drill down into what entrance control vestibules are all about, their enhanced features, capabilities and who should consider them:
Why say 'yes'
Be it in highly trafficked airports to packed stadiums, walk-through metal detectors are just about everywhere these days. And for good reason: They're highly effective in identifying materials that are banned. As such, consumers have become accustomed to such screenings and are, as a whole, grateful for the added layer of security.
The entrance control vestibule offered to financial institutions builds on this technology. Positioned between the branch vestibule and lobby, it is designed to blend in seamlessly with your location's architectural design. Do not, however, be deceived by its good looks. ECVs have powerful weapons detection capabilities that are UL certified and approved by the Department of Homeland Security. Leveraging smart technology supports their sensitivity to handheld and military-style weaponry of various calibers, weights and lengths.
"ECVs identify even the sneakiest tactics for unwanted lobby entry."
Its capabilities also allow ECVs to identify even the sneakiest tactics for unwanted lobby entry. This includes piggybacking. Otherwise known as tailgating, piggybacking refers to obtaining access to unauthorized areas of a facility by entering at the same time as someone who is permitted to come in. ECVs have the intelligence to identify those who are allowed and those who aren't, and trigger an alarm as needed.
There is some flexibility inherent in the system, allowing customers who might otherwise set off an alarm due to their circumstances at the time of entering the facility (i.e. a parent and child coming in together) to gain access without incident. Additionally, the system can take inputs from card readers, biometric scanners or almost any other similar device since it's fully integratable.
Why ECVs may be more important than ever
FBI statistics reveal that bank break-ins have diminished on a regular basis over the years, down dramatically from the 1990s and the 2000s. In 2004, for example, there were more than 7,000 robberies across the country, as the Charlotte Observer reported. This is a stark difference from the 2,735 in 2018.
But over the past year, robberies have climbed.
For example, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was hit with four bank robberies within the span of three weeks, as reported by The Harvard Crimson. These were the first such incidents in the city in almost two years.
Meanwhile, in Florida, the state has also seen a spike in bank robberies. Experts attribute the surge to face-covering mandates, according to the Orlando Sun-Sentinel. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, facemasks of any kind were strictly prohibited in financial institutions.
Illinois and California are two of the other states affected by increased bank crime in recent months. The perpetrators were often armed.
ECVs can serve as a deterrent to attempted heists. Its multi-level monitoring system uses highly sophisticated metal detection technology to control access to the building and allows it to lockdown immediately when weapons are identified. The doors are equipped with magnetic locks, push bars, automatic door closures and motion sensors.
Who is a likely target?
When it comes to targeting, there are two common profiles. Branches that appear to be most susceptible to daytime crime are either located in urban areas, or contrastingly in remote ones. The latter is often complemented by easy access to a major interstate or other high-speed thoroughfare. The risk associated with either location must be appropriately considered when mapping out security protocol. Some branches may even be targeted repeatedly, creating a real impetus to both manage the hit to the branch's reputation and accelerate roadblocks to future incursions. In unusual cases, branches may close in response to crime but this is likely a last resort. More commonly, banks and credit unions turn to enhanced physical security and even armed guards.
"ECVs are an excellent alternative to contracting security personnel."
A full-featured alternative
ECVs are an excellent alternative to contracting security personnel. Beyond curtailing crime itself, the technology facilitates identification so central to investigations and sentencing. Video surveillance can be integrated into the units. These cameras can subsequently be called up remotely on any tablet or handheld device for real-time viewing, recording and full IP audio as well. And this is just one of many features that can be enabled.
Assuring the ongoing protection of your employees and customers is paramount. ECVs can provide the added security and dependability you count on to keep the most valuable commodities of your bank protected — your employees, customers and their money.
For more information, contact BranchServ today.