New Age ATMs Need New Age Surveillance Systems


In August, the Agra police arrested five men who were involved in ATM thefts across the city. The gang would hang around ATMs and look for easy targets, especially those people who were using an ATM for the first time. On the pretext of helping them out, they would siphon off all the money from their accounts. On further investigation, it was discovered that the gang had also been tampering with the machines, and the absence of monitoring in ATMs let them get away with it.

ATMs in Patna have been an easy target for criminals due to lack of surveillance. Just a few days ago, INR 10 lakhs was stolen from an SBI ATM, and INR 10,500 was stolen from a Bank of Baroda ATM in the heart of the city. A third loot was in an ICICI Bank, and all three loots were the result of criminals breaking open the ATM machines with glass cutters and fleeing with the cash within minutes. Earlier this year, a retired IPS Officer in Delhi suffered a loss of INR 80,000 as someone used a skimmer device to clone his debit card in an ATM fraud trap. In the wake of several incidents being reported from all over the country, banks must introspect and reconsider their stance on ATM security. It has become clear that physical guarding is not sufficient since sometimes the guards may be unaware of the tampering that takes place when a criminal is trying to install a scanner – even video surveillance helps only after the event has transpired. From customers being robbed inside ATMs to tech-savvy criminals who install skimmers or cloning devices in the machines which are used for debit and credit card information theft, the criminals are not only increasing but are also becoming more intelligent and calculated. It’s clear that the criminals are getting smarter, and it is the responsibility of banks to make sure that their surveillance systems evolve to outsmart the bad guys. So what are the measures beyond the traditional video surveillance and physical guards? Let’s find out:

Tamper Alerts

If the ATMs in India had tamper alerts, tampering with the ATM machines would be impossible. Tamper alerts are triggered by sensors which pick up on vibration, physical removal of the ATM, and also come with thermal alert and chest door open alert in case criminals try to burn or vandalize the machine. A panic switch would also come under tamper alerts, this can be pressed in case a customer in the ATM is held being hostage, or even if a robbery has just occurred, in which case the authorities can be alerted immediately.

2-Way Audio to Deter Crimes

ATMs need to be fitted with Microphone Amplifier and Speaker for 2-way digital voice recording operations. Think of this as your “black box” – in case a crime does take place, all of the audio will be recorded in this little speaker, making it easier for the police to nab the criminals.

Motion Alert

There are two kinds of motion sensors that are ideal for ATMs. One is Slit PIR and the second is Quad PIR. These are highly sensitive and are tamper proof. These sensors come in handy is picking up unusual activity such as someone trying to lift the entire ATM machine or someone trying to vandalize it. When such activity is detected, these sensors raise an alert.

Glass Break Alert

A glass break detector efficiently and accurately raises alarm if someone is trying to break glass in an ATM. These detectors are calibrated to pick up unique vibrational activity so that there is never a false alarm due to environmental agitation. Typically, thieves take around 10-20 minutes while looting an ATM, if the glass break is detected within the first 5 minutes of the break-in, authorities get sufficient time to act.

Siren Alert

When any of the above-mentioned alerts are trigged, the ATM surveillance system should sound a loud alarm of 110 dB. This ensures that even if there is no guard stationed at the ATM, bystanders will be alerted of a theft and authorities can be immediately called.

Alarm Panel Add-ons

Besides this, the alarm panel inside the ATM must have shutter magnetic sensors which will raise an alarm if someone is trying to fidget with the shutters during maintaince. An IVS or Intelligent Vibration Sensor is also a must-have since it picks up on the unique algorithms of vibrations caused from actions such as drilling or hammering. This means that the criminal could even be caught in the act if authorities respond swiftly.

All of the solutions you have read above should be integrated to the command center. So if there is an emergency or the alarms are sounded off for whatever reason, the authorities are automatically alerted immediately and no time is wasted. Integrating these solutions is the only way forward in an India that’s becoming increasingly digital. It is up to the banks to protect their customers from all of the newly emerging tactics used by criminals so that the customer is always safe and secure. We have secured hundreds of ATMs in the country and have revolutionized the e-surveillance systems in India, so if you feel like you’re ready to embrace smarter surveillance, get in touch.



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