Today’s financial institutions have at their fingertips cutting edge technology to protect and track stolen cash. GPS Tracking is one option that continues to generate a lot of buzz in the industry…and for good reason! With better than a 70% success rate, low startup costs and minimal training required, if offers an excellent payback. Here’s a quick 6 Q&A on GPS.

1. How is GPS Tracking implemented? Is it visible or covert?

The whole idea of using GPS to catch criminals and recover assets is that the criminals unknowingly steal the device. That only works if the device is undetectable. Look for solutions that best blend in with cash, whether in teller drawers or vaults. If protecting ATMs or cash machines, be sure the device is out-of-sight from the criminals, and that it can detect and report many types of attacks. These attack types could include physical attacks such as cutting/drilling/grinding, pull-out attacks designed to steal the entire machine, or explosive attacks where gas is introduced into the machine to cause an explosion. Other common attacks types, such as black-box or skimming attacks, can also be detected by industry-leading technologies.

2. How is the technology activated?

The device should automatically and silently detect the crime and begin reporting. This is key as it eliminates employee involvement, notifies authorities while the crime is in progress, and reduces the likelihood of a violent confrontation. As with most technologies, lower human interaction and manipulation increases the device’s success rate.

3. Who receives the alert from the tracking device?

For best results, the device should link directly to a security company monitoring center or, ideally, to law enforcement. This improves response time and, therefore, the likelihood of an arrest. It also keeps staff and customers safe by getting the criminals out of the branch and into the hands of police or other law enforcement professionals.

4. How does the device track and communicate?

The leading tracking solutions use multiple technologies to pinpoint the device’s location: GNSS (more comprehensive than just GPS), WiFi and RF. Using multiple technologies increases the likelihood of a quick time to first fix (TTFF – when the device begins tracking) and helps ensure a clear, strong tracking report. Both of these factors significantly increase the likelihood of an arrest and recovery.

Tracking devices typically use cellular networks to report their location. Users should be sure to choose devices that are 4G/5G compatible, so that they will last well into the future. This will help to reduce future replacement costs.

5. What are some other things to consider during the selection and deployment process?

There are a number of questions to ask during the assessment and selection of GPS tracking technology.

  • Is the device easy to use and maintain?
  • Is the device self-reporting to ensure reliability?
  • Does it provide data that can be used forensically after the crime to help law enforcement secure a conviction?
  • How many devices should be used for maximum effectiveness in a particular application?
  • Where should the devices be placed within the branch?
  • What types of crimes is the financial institution wanting to target, and what is the best way to deploy devices to successfully address this crime?

6. What are industry leaders saying about the short- and long-term benefit of GPS Tracking?

Adding a tracking and monitoring solution to a suite of security solutions can provide real-time visibility and data. As the use of GPS tracking continues to grow, it has proven itself to be an ally in the fight against robbery, burglary and larceny against ATMs and cash machines. As a growing number of financial institutions continue to embrace the technology, we will continue to see crimes against financial institutions decrease. Criminals will find the soft targets where getting cash is easy, so banks and credit unions using GPS are more likely to stay safe.

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