HOW TO REACH YOUR AUDIENCE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media: it’s filled with memes, opinions, cat videos, and fake news. But, if you can cut through all the noise, it can serve as a viable marketing tool that allows your business to connect directly with your audience.

When executed correctly, a social advertising strategy can effectively amplify certain messages and attract more customers, and the financial services sector is taking advantage of this fact.

By the Numbers

As of July 2016, Facebook had 1.7 billion monthly active users. Twitter, meanwhile, had roughly 300 million users at the time. And apps like Instagram, which had 500 million users as of June 2016, are also growing quickly.

This gives financial institutions the opportunity to not only advertise to their target market, but also communicate directly with consumers. After all, social networks are designed for building connections, creating a community, and asking and answering questions openly.

The Basics

To reach your audience on social media:

  1. Post on a consistent basis. Don’t just focus on sales-related updates. Instead, post about promotions, relevant news, and tips that can help customers make smarter decisions with their money. Link back to your site and blog. Use photos and videos to get people’s attention and encourage interaction.

 

  1. Purchase ads. Sponsored posts on social networking sites from Facebook to Instagram are able to reach the specific audience that will be most likely to respond to what you have to offer.

 

  1. Create a hashtag to create a buzz, and use trending hashtags in your posts. Then focus on interacting with your followers every day. One thing to note, hashtags are used differently on each platform, so make sure you know each platforms best practices before posting.

The Possibilities for Connection

Once you’ve established yourself on social media, you can connect with customers in new ways, and you can use those connections to differentiate your brand from the competition.

On Facebook, for example, followers can privately message your team, view live videos that you can post to increase engagement, and even review your company with a 5-star rating. They can also post questions that you can answer publicly to prove your involvement and concern for the customer experience.    

Social Media’s Impact on the Financial Services Industry

Social media has been impacting the financial services industry around the world in a variety of ways. Customers now expect their banks, insurance companies, lenders, etc. to be on social media, and to be responsive to followers.

  • Businesses are finding that they can deliver a new level of customer service with the help of social media. Many insurance companies and banks have already added social media to their Customer Relationship Management systems, allowing for real-time answers to questions and concerns. When care is taken to keep private information out of public view, financial service companies can interact with both happy and unhappy customers and resolve problems to boost customer retention.
  • Another way to use social media in an innovative way is by offering your services via a site like Facebook. For example, DenizBank and ICICI Bank allowed customers to conveniently access and monitor their bank account and credit card information, as well as manage everything from wire transfers to expenses, with their Facebook accounts.
  • Banks that are thinking about releasing a new product, such as a new credit card, can use social media to survey their target market and determine what features should be included in any new offerings. This, in turn, boosts interest in an upcoming product while also increasing sales once it’s released.
  • Rather than just focusing on getting their message to the masses with the help of social media ads, some financial brands, such as American Express, are letting customers link their credit cards with their profiles. Banks then send those customers special offers based upon their activity, such as the places where they check-in or the pages that they like. Customized deals can show your customers that you have more to offer, and that can boost your sales.

Remain Effective on Social Media

Marketing on social media has become a necessity for financial businesses, but any promotional plan you implement needs to evolve with the changes that occur in this dynamic environment. The world of social media is always changing, and it can be challenging to keep abreast of the latest trends. What worked last year may no longer be relevant this year, so this is one of the challenges of promoting your brand on networks like Facebook.

For example, in 2016, using videos on social media, including live videos, became an essential component to a successful marketing plan. YouTube and Facebook have become the top networks that marketers plan to use for campaigns. Also, Facebook dominates as the most important social media site, followed by LinkedIn. However, other channels, such as Snapchat, are growing and can open up more opportunities to reach your audience.

If approached with the right strategy, social media can become a key component in promoting your financial business. Therefore, social media marketing is something that you should consider including in your plan for 2017, as it could help you grow your company by reaching more people. If you need help when it comes to promoting your brand, contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more.

 

 

 

THE VIDEO & LIVE STREAMING MOVEMENT – WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Financial companies can engage with their audience in a new way when they’re able to strategically and effectively use videos, including live streaming videos. And brands that are hoping to connect with a younger audience, in particular, can use videos to their advantage. If your company is ready to join the live streaming/video movement, here’s what you should know.   

 

Some Interesting Stats on Video’s Effectiveness

B2B and B2C marketing experts are recognizing the importance of adding video content to their online promotional strategies.

  • 74% of Internet traffic will be represented by video content in 2017
  • Four times as many consumers prefer watching videos about products instead of reading a description
  • When you use the word “video” within your email subject lines, you can increase open rates by around 19%, as well as increase click-through rates by around 65%
  • 14% of marketing professionals utilized live video in 2016, and Facebook users spend 3x longer viewing live videos than they do viewing regular videos
  • Users on Facebook watch 8 billion videos a day, while those on Snapchat watch 10 billion videos a day
  • Organic engagement on Facebook is highest on posts that contain videos

How to Make the Most of the Live Streaming/Video Trend

Using videos to promote your brand today goes far beyond merely hiring a production company to create a TV ad, or even posting videos to your website in an effort to increase conversions. With streaming tools available on quite a few social media platforms, you can reach your target audience in a more consistent and interesting fashion than ever before.

Your work isn’t over once you create and share a video, though. After posting your live streaming event on Facebook, Instagram, etc., you can use the platform’s analytics tools to collect data and determine how effective your posts really were. Want the video to have a longer shelf life? Depending on the type of live feed, you can promote it even after the filming has ended.

 

 

  • Appeal to Your Customers’ Emotions

 

One of the keys to successfully marketing your business with videos involves appealing to your target consumer’s emotions. Avoid merely using your platform to encourage sales. In doing so, you can dramatically increase the engagement of your followers on social media, while also gaining their trust. It’s even likely that your video posts and streams will garner more interaction than your static posts. On average, video posts on Facebook have a 135% higher organic reach than photo posts.  

 

  • Personalize Your Brand  

 

You can say a lot more with a well-executed video than you can with written content, as you can work on personalizing your brand while demonstrating the heart and soul of your company. Instead of creating generic videos about how to make a transaction or use your bank’s mobile app, for example, you can tell your brand’s story.

Discuss how your bank started and the obstacles that your organization has had to overcome, as well as where your passions lie. Interview key members of your company, such as your founder or CEO, so you can have an insightful conversation that gives a human side to your brand while making your team and your goals relatable.

A Few of the Many Types of Videos You Can Post

 

  • Host a Live Streaming Q&A Session

 

Live streaming, which is available on social media networks like Facebook and Instagram, is a great way to connect with your audience in real time. One of the ways to take advantage of this tool is by hosting a live Q&A session during which you encourage followers to ask questions about your company and its products and services.

You can also ask your followers to share comments and concerns, making it easier for you to do a bit of market research in the process so you can make your offerings even better. To get the most engagement, promote your upcoming live streaming session so more followers will be aware of it.  

 

  • Go Behind the Scenes with Your Team

 

Videos, including live streams, that take customers behind the scenes at your company are another strategic way to show off what makes you different from your competition. You can chat with your team, describe the typical workday at your organization, or even stream live from an event that you’re hosting or attending. Your followers should get a sense of the hard work that’s involved in creating the products and services that are designed to make their lives better.

You can also go beyond the ordinary by thinking up fun ideas that will make your audience laugh, even if the content of the video isn’t directly related to your bank or credit union. You never know when a creative video will go viral, so let loose and get silly with your team, as you might be surprised by the results.

 

  • Share News and Contests

 

The next time that you have a major announcement to make, you can do so through a video rather than a written release. When posted on social media, your followers will be able to watch your video and share it with their friends to spread the news.

Another way to increase engagement and create a buzz is by conducting contests and giveaways on video. Encourage followers to join your live streaming session and take action in some way to win valuable prizes from your company.

Stuck When It Comes to Live Stream Ideas?

When you’re stumped for live streaming ideas, consider researching the keywords and content that your customer base is looking for. This can help your team brainstorm live session or video topics and potentially even turn those ideas into weekly streaming sessions that will keep people coming back. Based on the engagement you get on your videos, you can see what customers are most interested in, and that can drive your decisions to serve your audience better.  

Videos of all kinds, including live streaming videos, can be used to build trust, showcase your company’s uniqueness, prove your authority and knowledge within your niche, and connect with your customer base in a fun way. If you’re ready to start harnessing the power of video marketing tools and techniques but you aren’t sure where to begin, contact us today for a free consultation.

 

 

 

TOP CYBERSECURITY THREATS FOR 2017 & TIPS TO AVOID THEM

Like Dracula’s ship full of rats heading for the English coast, 2017’s cyber threats are on their way. Recent menaces will increase in scale, older tactics will return in revised, more robust versions, and medium and smaller businesses will be targeted more often. Some threats appear on every expert’s list, while others are making their way out of the shadows. Awareness of all is essential when planning an agile strategy for defense.

Not going away:

  • IoT (Internet of Things) – businesses will have an increasing problem with IoT security, as all devices from thermostats to security cameras are integrated into a company’s internal network. One of the challenges with IoT devices is that, by default, they are open and available to the Internet, and come protected with default passwords, making it easy for hackers to integrate malware into networks.1

 

The number of these attacks will rise because most users don’t know how or that they even need to change the security controls on their devices.2

“IoT is the weakest link into the home, and thousands of consumers are going to find their accounts compromised and their bank accounts pilfered just because they thought it would be fun to automatically dim the lights in their bedroom,” states Phil Dunkelberger, CEO of Nok Nok Labs.3

The good news is that ongoing IoT threats will force manufacturers to tighten security layers, including patchable firmware/software, secured authentication, and controlled privilege access. Regulations will be pushed forward for vendor responsibility around IoT device software updates.4

  • Ransomware is predicted to grow by 25% in 2017, and looks likely to spread into IoT devices, PoS systems, and ATMs. If you want your files back after a successful ransomware attack, you’re probably going to have to pay the ransom, which is what the FBI actually suggests you do.5

 

But there are less expensive options than paying  a ransom. The ransomware must be installed before it can do its work encrypting your files. Simple, precautionary steps can drastically reduce the risks:

  • Install reputable anti-virus and anti-malware software
  • Don’t open an email attachment without knowing what it is
  • Don’t follow links in emails; close the email and use your browser

to go directly to the website

  • Use strong passwords and never reuse them
  • Check that all of your system software and browsers are patched automatically with security updates
  • Apply all of these rules to all devices: smartphones, tablets and Macs are not immune!
  • Have solid back-ups for all of your data.6
  • Spear phishing continues, with hackers duping the recipients into believing they’re receiving a personalized message. The cyber criminal will research their target before crafting the message, then possibly even masquerade as a friend or colleague to get the victim to either give up sensitive information, or click on a link containing malware.

Though more advanced technology solutions will help to keep the hackers out, it’s important to consider the human element in regard to phishing scams. Mistakes may be avoided if employees are taught to recognize these potential hazards. A good start is with training sessions designed to ensure workers know how to avoid dangerous situations.7

Back for more:

According to Stephen Gates, chief research intelligence analyst at NSFOCUS, self-propagating worms of the past, such as Conficker, Nimda, and Code Red, will return to prominence—but this time they will carry ransomware payloads capable of infecting hundreds of machines in an incredibly short timespan.

 

As more devices become internet-enabled and accessible and the security measures in place continue to lag behind, the associated risks will rise. Aside from the obvious risks for attacks on consumer IoT devices, there is a growing threat against industrial and municipal IoT as well. This can lead to theft of intellectual property, collecting competitive intelligence, and even the disruption or destruction of critical infrastructure.8

What medium and smaller businesses need to know:

Although the larger enterprises may be targeted first, where there is money, the criminals will appear. Smaller businesses and startups are easier to penetrate because they don’t typically have cybersecurity budgets on the scale that big corporations do. “Even if your ‘IT infrastructure’ only consists of a couple of laptops, cybersecurity should be a top priority.” Adopting these strong security habits will ensure that you’re running a tight ship…

Nothing unwanted gets in if you:

  • Maintain firewalls on all machines. Make sure everything is up to date.
  • Regularly update your company’s operating system – keep on top of new security patches and check to make sure that machines are automatically updated.
  • Secure all mobile devices connected with your company. Do not store important passwords on any mobile device. Learn how to enable “remote wipe” capability on phones and tablets, and how to activate a “kill switch” that allows only the device owner to reboot.
  • Use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your web connection and ensure data shared online is not viewable to third parties. Secured data connections are available between remote workers and your network, which is especially valuable when workers are in the field.
  • Keep virus protection current on all devices. Update whenever a new patch is released.
  • Adopt a strong password policy for all company employees.
  • Make a cross-company rule for no unknown downloads. If the recipient doesn’t know the sender, the download should not be executed.
  • Educate your employees against cyber threats. Even when you stay up to speed on all counts, you can still be at high risk if your employees aren’t in the know. Make training them an integral element of your company’s cybersecurity strategy.9

Steps taken now to protect your business and personal accounts from potential cyber threats will give you peace of mind in the year ahead, and stave off the potential danger sailing toward you. Don’t wait to take action; take it step by step.

 

 

 

PROTECT YOUR EMPLOYEES AND YOUR ASSETS FROM THIS BILLION-DOLLAR THREAT

Your business manager receives an email request from their boss to wire funds to a specific vendor. The message contains a link to the account into which the funds are to be deposited. On the surface, the email appears normal. It’s not unusual for the boss to make transactional requests via email. Nor is it unusual for an employee to accommodate a request from a supervisor, especially when the email looks just like every other other email the employee receives from work associates.

 

The problem is, it’s not a normal email. Instead, it’s an example of CEO fraud. The unassuming link is likely connected to a bank in China or Hong Kong and your employee has just opened your company’s entire bank account to a nefarious hacker. With one click of their mouse.

 

What is CEO Fraud?

The above-mentioned scenario repeats itself with startling regularity and devastating results. It’s called CEO fraud, because the illicit email appears to come from a CEO, a boss or other upper-level manager. The request is always the same: transfer money to a specific account. The FBI recently released this example of such a request:

 

FBI Sounds Security Warning

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates these email scams have cost organizations more than $2.3 billion in losses over the past three years. In an alert posted to its site, the FBI said that since January 2015, the agency has seen a 270% increase in exposed losses from CEO scams. The alert noted that law enforcement globally has received complaints from victims in every U.S. state, and in at least 79 countries. Unless the fraud is spotted within 24 hours, the chances of recovery are small. That’s why only 4% of the funds are ever retrieved.

 

Why This Scam is So Successful

According to Ken Bagnall, CEO of The Email Laundry, although CEO scam attempts are niche, they are extremely successful. Bagnall’s research indicates that CEO scams have a 90% rate of success, compared to a 30% success rate for other types of phishing attacks.

 

Experts agree that social engineering is to blame for the staggeringly high success rates of such email scams. There is often an unspoken company rule to not question a request from a superior. Most employees want to be seen as a team player. Quickly responding to a boss’s request is seen as a normal response to keeping the wheels of efficiency moving. Keeping both the boss and the client happy is perceived as an admirable quality, one which could be taken into consideration in an annual employee review or for future promotional considerations.

 

The Cost of Untrained Employees

Everything about responding to the CEO’s request makes sense. That’s why it is so potentially devastating. And, although over 22,000 companies have reported CEO fraud, non-reporting remains very high. Industry analysts point to the fact that there is a “shame factor” associated with being duped into literally giving money away. The concern about a perceived data breach and a tarnished reputation only adds to the reluctance to report such activity.

 

Of those companies that have reported CEO fraud, the financial losses have been monumental. Ubiquiti Networks, a Silicon Valley computer networking company had employee emails impersonated and transferred over $46 million to overseas accounts. Xoom, an Internet money-transfer service, lost $30.8 million via fraudulent requests to their finance department. The cable manufacturer, Leoni AG, lost $44 million to emails crafted to look like legitimate payment requests from their head office in German. And, Pomeroy Investment Corp. in Troy, Michigan, transferred almost $500,000 to a Hong Kong bank. The error was noticed eight days after it took place, but by then, the money was gone.

 

Why Technology Safeguards Are Not Enough

Most cyber security risk management focuses on technical mitigation, such as anti-malware, email filters and two-factor authentication. These measures are important, but as the Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) indicated, it’s not enough. The report that studied 100,000 security incidents found that human error was to blame in the majority of cases.

 

The bottom line? Banks and credit unions can have the most sophisticated physical security protocol in place, but if their employees are not properly trained, they remain susceptible to fraudulent attacks.

 

Establishing a Secure Human Firewall

Security experts are recommending what they call a human firewall. In the same way that a technical firewall protects against malicious digital attacks, a human firewall protects against socially engineered threats.

 

Industry consultants recommend some basic tips to effective employee security training.

 

#1: Make employee testing simple and routine

Many companies use routine security questions that pop-up when employees log onto their computers. Daily questions remind employees of important security protocols and provide management with metrics for evaluation and future training.

 

#2: Check what they do, not just what they know

Vulnerability assessments look for evidence that employees are adhering to security best practices. The presence of sticky notes with passwords or sensitive information visible on computer screens are a red flag that what employees know may not be translating to what they do.

 

#3: Put security in personal terms

Some companies are realizing increased employee commitment to organizational security practices after training them how to protect their personal and financial security. The assumption is when employees build a habit of security in their personal life, it extends into their professional environment

 

#5: Remember the limits of training

Because there is no fool-proof, blanket security plan, experts recommend a layered approach which includes both proactive employee training and automated security solutions.

 

CEO fraud and other social engineering scams continue to make the list of the top security concerns for 2017. Banks and credit unions can’t eliminate the potential for malicious threats, but they can arm their employees with the security training needed to combat the ever-sophisticated social schemes.

 

Contact SPC to explore the advanced training options to equip your employees and protect your assets.

 

SPC – Helping bank and credit union professionals sleep better at night.

 

 

 

MORTGAGE PROMOTIONS – DIGITAL CAMPAIGNS THAT CAN HELP

It’s the season for mortgage loans and refinance applications, and you can make it your best year yet by promoting the right message to the right people. Implement the tips below to attract more homebuyers and homeowners who will be interested in the options that you have to offer.

Focus Your Efforts on Digital Marketing Campaigns

Traditional marketing strategies come with a few challenges. One of the biggest is being able to find and communicate with your audience. This is especially true when it comes to homebuyers, as you typically won’t know that someone is interested in applying for a mortgage until they walk into your branch or contact you.

Thanks to digital promotions, you can now market directly to homebuyers more easily and effectively than before. You can, for example, purchase ads on a real estate website like Zillow if you know that your audience is using that outlet.

The key to a successful digital campaign for mortgage promotion will be in your ability to go beyond merely purchasing ads on relevant websites. You’ll need to set up other strategies that will be harder for your competition to copy. And those same strategies should provide even more value to your target audience.

Know Your Target Audience and Their Needs

Before implementing any digital marketing campaign, determine who your target audience is, as well as what their needs and expectations are. If your audience for your campaign is too broad, rather than targeted, your message will be lost amidst the noise in the online world.

As a mortgage provider, your two target audiences are homebuyers, including first-time homebuyers, and those who are ready to refinance their existing mortgage. You can choose to focus on one of these target audiences, or you can promote your products and services to both. If you choose to promote your brand to both groups, create two separate digital campaigns so that each one can be customized to meet the needs of each audience.

When it comes to homebuyers, especially those who are new to the home buying process:

  • Prove that you can walk them through the entire process of applying for a mortgage. Let your audience know that you’ll help them at every step of the way to make an otherwise daunting process an easy one.
  • Showcase the many ways that you can offer more assistance and guidance compared to your competition. Keep in mind that new homebuyers are often willing to pay a little extra for additional advice that will help them make the best financial decisions.

When it comes to attracting those who are hoping to refinance their mortgage:

  • Share the benefits that applicants can reap when they refinance with you, paying special attention to your rates. After all, these consumers are looking for a better rate than what they already have. They’re also willing to spend the time shopping around and getting various quotes, so proving your competitiveness will be paramount.

 

  • Understand that these individuals already know what they’re doing, so you don’t need to focus so much on the mortgage loan process. However, you can still offer smart tips and guidance on how to refinance with greater ease and confidence.

Digital Campaign Strategies to Try

There are several innovative ways to approach your digital campaign and persuade more people to apply for, or refinance, a mortgage with you. Use a few different approaches within the same marketing campaign to get better results and increase conversions.

  • Encourage consumers to contact you by increasing cross-marketing tactics. For example, you can merge email marketing efforts with pop-up messages within your banking app. This messaging can remind customers that you’re there for them when they need personalized mortgage services and advice.
  • Implement a content marketing strategy to attract and retain customers. Focus on providing valuable content on your site and blog by diving into areas that include the home-buying process, getting and/or refinancing a mortgage, FICO scores, lending options, selling a house, and other topics that can be search engine optimized to drive traffic to your site.
  • Add video content to your website and social media pages. Use this tool to show a “human side” to your company, answer common questions, and offer extra tips and guidance.
  • Add engagement options throughout your website. These will entice consumers to take action, whether it’s to check mortgage rates, calculate payments, fill out a pre-application, or contact you.
  • Invest in pay-per-click ads to reach your target audience as they search relevant keywords. You can also set up ad campaigns on social media sites like Facebook.
  • Harness the power of remarketing so that visitors who check your website will then see your ads on other sites, reminding them about what you have to offer.  

Making It Work on Social Media

A survey called “A Critical Balancing Act: U.S. Retail Banking in the Digital Era” was conducted by Accenture, and it determined that 29% of consumers prefer receiving helpful information from banks on social media. It also found that young adults are even more active on social media, so it’s important for banks and lenders to be there once those consumers are ready to get a mortgage.

To make your social media campaign work for you, especially when trying to attract new homebuyers to your mortgage options, post information that’s shareable and educational. Make your otherwise complex financial products easier to understand, all while differentiating yourself from the competition.

Go a step beyond providing information on your products by also posting updates regarding things like interest rates, real estate prices, and other topics that are relevant to homebuyers.

Just keep in mind that customers don’t want to perform transactions via social media. Instead, they want to simply get information and locate a lender’s branch. However, you can use social media for networking. Many consumers who are looking for a reputable lender will ask for referrals from people they know. A loan officer can, therefore, use social media to connect with existing clients and make offers to their family and friends who are in need of a mortgage.

Be Consistent

Being consistent is extremely important if you want your digital marketing strategy to succeed. Gather data to formulate a plan of action, implement that plan, and gather more data to determine how effective your plan was. Then make necessary changes and launch a new campaign to keep things fresh and to continually connect with your target audience.

If you need help coming up with a digital campaign for your mortgage products, we can help. Contact us today to learn more and to receive a free consultation.  

 

 

 

HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR BANK EQUIPMENT IS OUTDATED

Whether it’s your home, your car or your bank business, routine maintenance is part of responsible ownership. It’s generally agreed upon that changing your car’s oil every 3 to 5,000 miles will keep your engine running at optimal performance. Inserting a penny in a worn area of your tire tread helps determine if new tires are needed. And, replacing smoke detector batteries twice a year ensures your home fire detection system remains operational.

 

But what about your bank or credit union? How do you make sure your equipment and security system is up to par and not outdated? How often should you perform a bank equipment check? And, what are you looking for to determine optimal efficiency?

 

How Long Should Your Bank Equipment Last?

Before determining if any components are outdated, it’s helpful to view your banking equipment and security system as a life cycle. Most industry experts report that the “life expectancy” for most equipment is around 7 years. That span however is shrinking, largely due to the technology and software used within many of these components. So, although the hardware may be compliant and operational, the internal software may be outdated or compromised. As more and more banking equipment relies upon technology, the more frequently they may need to be updated. Best practices, therefore, call for regular evaluation of not just equipment hardware, but the digital “brains” that allows the hardware to interface and operate properly.

 

What Equipment Needs to Be Evaluated?

Although each bank and credit union utilizes unique equipment configurations, most institutions employ a standard protocol and facility components to ensure both compliance and customer service. The following are the banking systems that most frequently require evaluation:

  • Alarm and Access Control
  • Video surveillance systems (interior and exterior)
  • Drive-up equipment
  • Night Depository
  • Safe Deposit Boxes
  • Drive-through Equipment
  • Vaults, chests, safes and lockers

 

Your Bank Equipment May be Outdated If . . .

It would be impossible within the scope of this article to identify every tell-tale sign that a piece of equipment may be outdated. Instead, what follows are the Top 10 questions you should ask in regard to your current banking equipment and security system.

 

 

  • Does the graininess of your surveillance make it hard to recognize faces?

 

If so, it’s time for an upgrade. Today’s high-definition cameras and surveillance systems are designed to provide the clarity necessary to make accurate identification of people, vehicles and even license plate numbers. Newer cameras can adjust position in response to motion and operate in extreme lighting conditions, making blurry or dark images obsolete. Poor surveillance quality can also be affected by the video wiring schema, recording device and other mediated factors.

 

 

  • Do you rely upon a DVR for your surveillance video?

 

Digital video recorders are great for what they were intended; recording devices to store video content for future viewing. DVRs are not not good, however, for watching a delayed recording of a crime after it has taken place. Today’s best practices call for real-time viewing and identification of intruders or unexpected incidents.

 

 

  • Do you have to wait on a slow download before reviewing video?

 

Older analog cameras are slow. They’re slow to capture an image – that’s why the video quality is poor. They’re also slow to process video – meaning that analog cameras require a substantial amount of time to make recorded video available for viewing. Today’s industry standard relies upon digital cameras that provide instant and enhanced surveillance video viewing.

 

 

  • Are you regularly having your security cameras serviced?

 

Like any piece of equipment, the more frequently you find yourself calling a maintenance specialist, the more likely the component is at the end of its life cycle. The principle of diminishing returns becomes operative when you begin paying more for equipment that provides less security.

 

 

  • Do you know when your system is down?

 

Older cameras and security systems, much like a computer, need to occasionally be “rebooted.” If not, they are prone to shutting down until a manual restart is activated. Newer, modern IP based systems and hardware, however, automatically perform reboots and alert users of potential issues, virtually eliminating unexpected down time.

 

 

  • Do you rely on a phone call to notify you of a problem?

 

Or, have the police been notified of an intruder when it’s really just your manager accidentally setting off a back door alarm? Web-based and mobile systems allow users to visually monitor a facility from remote locations, allowing for visual identification and real-time facility observation. Remote monitoring also allows users to analyze traffic flow and customer foot traffic for improved efficiencies.

 

 

  • Is your system integrated or comprised of stand-alone components?

 

A lack of network integration usually indicates outdated equipment. The protocol for today’s security standard calls for all components to be able to communicate with one another via a digital network. Such connectivity facilitates enhanced features such as remote access and automation.

 

 

  • Does your system still rely on wired devices that tie them to a physical location?

 

Newer security systems use wireless devices whenever practical. Wireless components are more convenient and cost-effective. They allow for instant repositioning of equipment, such as motion detectors, without the tedious and costly rewiring associated with older wired.

 

 

  • Does your system provide you with visual analytics?

 

Older systems just record standard video. Newer, “smart” systems, however, perform constant evaluations of recorded data. By analyzing every frame of video, advanced systems can identify traffic patterns and staffing issues helping leaders make smarter marketing and management decisions

 

 

  • Can your system be easily expanded as your bank grows?

 

A trait of older security systems is their inability to be easily expanded to meet growth requirements. If you’ve spent time trying to adjust camera angles to cover additional areas because it’s too difficult to add new devices, you’re probably saddled with outdated equipment. Newer systems can be easily expanded and integrated with additional security devices.

 

The above questions are just a starting point for determining if your bank security equipment is outdated. And, just like your home or car maintenance, it’s important not to wait until a tire blows or hot water heater floods. The end of the year or beginning of a new year are a perfect times to consider a professional evaluation of all of your existing bank equipment. Contact SPC to see what advanced efficiencies are available through updated security options.