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Freelance journalist and copywriter, Textual Healing

July 8, 2021


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IFSEC Interviews

“Smart video analytics are essential to banks” – Improving security and customer experience with surveillance tech

IFSEC Global finds out why Abhijit Shanbhag, CEO of Graymatics, believes video-based AI solutions are essential assets for the banking sector, particularly as facilities look to move towards a ‘post-COVID’ era. 

Like many professionals, Abhijit Shanbhag, CEO of CCTV analytics company Graymatics, believes that artificial intelligence is changing the way every industry functions and that smart video analytics will soon become indispensable assets of any organisation. But Shanbhang believes that this is particularly the case with banks.

“We believe a powerful AI platform enhanced by dashboards of relatively low investment are essential to banks,” says Shanbhag. “They now provide various deep data insights into customer experiences and can better enhance operational processes through real time visual feeds converted into analytics.”

Among the benefits of video AI solutions are identifying the density of people across premises, identifying compliance with social distancing and tracking crowd movement patterns via already installed CCTV systems. Meanwhile, detection of weapons and suspicious or unattended objects or dangerous activities (e.g. involving fire and smoke) are also key concerns that modern surveillance tech can combat.

The customer experience is another part of the puzzle that can be analysed. Shanbhag adds: “Powerful and versatile video AI solutions can also obtain various customer activity analytics, such as a detailed customer journey map in the bank. This means metrics such as the amount of time a customer waited in a queue to get service, the amount of time spent waiting to withdraw cash from an ATM, or during what parts of the journey the customer had positive emotions, can all be tracked.”

“If the bank carries out different promotional activities, for example service automisation, these video solutions will help banks understand how customers engage with them. If a visitor in the bank carries out vandalism in an ATM machine, these could also be detected, and violence can be avoided.”

In the ‘Post-Covid’ era, a reliance on video analytics may become even more pronounced, with many businesses, including banks, looking to “reduce human dependency” and establish unstaffed branches.

“Video analytics can play a pivotal role in ensuring safety adherence as the world gradually opens up,” says Shanbhag. “State of the art video analytics solutions can provide users with the option to detect when the crowd is not following social distancing norms and send automatic alerts. It can also allow bank management to monitor if the staff and customers are interacting with each other safely by detecting masks. This data can be leveraged to alert the security personnel at the bank and can also be presented as dashboards for assessments and decision making.”

Video AI “indispensable for unstaffed banking facilities”

VideoSurveillanceReport2020-Main-20Unstaffed branches are, of course, something that might be desired as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is evidence to suggest they were already increasing in number beforehand.

“For such branches, Video AI solutions are critical to ensure certain levels of customer experience and safety thresholds or KPIs are met. Journey maps are particularly important to understand how well the customers are engaging with the self-service desks or automation at the bank branch.”

Despite the lack of staff, customers may find that some aspects of their banking experience are expedited much more quicky.

“Facial recognition for authentication can be used in ATM vestibules when the customer has forgotten to bring their ATM card but wants to validate their bank account information,” explains Shanbhag. “This facial recognition technology can authenticate or validate their bank account information if the customer faces the Video AI enabled camera.”

“It can further be used to understand queueing delays outside ATMs and bank branches and to better understand the measures that can be taken to improve customer experience.”

Graymatics’s own Video AI-powered solution is called G-Safe. It’s designed to unlock video feeds from multiple CCTVs deployed inside a bank’s premises to ‘monitor and enhance customer experience, streamline operational processes and improve security and safety’, according to the vendor

“G-Safe tracks the customer’s journey inside the bank, which is then utilised to optimise various service components to the banks: customer traffic, branch space utilisation (by preparing heat maps) and service and staff allocation,” adds Shanbhag. “G-safe also records the customers waiting time to service time and so helps achieve better staff placement and availability.”

G-Safe also offers services such as recognition of loitering and idling, detection of unattended objects, trespass and social distancing detection.

Shanbhag feels that CCTV in bank branches is currently used in a very passive way. “With video analytics/AI technology, banks will effectively be able to transform CCTV feeds into solutions that can be leveraged as a part of their customer experience decision-making and operations monitoring workflow. When accompanied with powerful dashboarding functionalities, it can serve to be a strong differentiating factor on how a bank translates this valuable source of big data into tailor-made customer experience policies, operational workflows and safety protocols.”


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