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Think like a thief: How to prevent robberies at your bank

October 10, 2022

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Despite being a relatively rare crime, theft remains on the minds of bank employees across the country. Today, all banks employ a similar strategy to deter robbers – dye packs, bait money, security cameras and even armed guards – but there remain steps above and beyond that further improve branch security.

In fact, who better than an actual bank robber to offer guidance? Convicted thief and current consultant Troy Evans spoke to The Financial Brand about how bank branches can up their security measures.

Customer service can prevent crime
Believe it or not, customer service is actually one of the best theft deterrents out there.

Evans told The Financial Brand that as a robber, one of the first things he did was to case various financial institutions to see how employees acted. What was he looking for? Most of the time, it was just a simple hello.

“The last thing a robber wants is for someone to notice them. Someone to look them in the eyes,” he told the media outlet.

With this in mind, your bank can instantly step up security by training employees to be alert, friendly and responsive. Greet people when they come in the door and pay attention to their movements throughout the branch. In this instance, customer service itself is the security measure.

Work with your team
Like with customer service, other steps taken by your employees can help deter robberies.

“How your employees act can deter criminals.”

One such option is how your employees act. According to Evans, a talkative former girlfriend and bank employee clued him in to a variety of the inner workings of banks. You may want to have your employees all sign non-disclosure agreements that extend beyond their employment. The less they talk about what goes on behind the scenes, the safer your bank will be.

Furthermore, your employees’ behavior during a robbery can improve security. They can trip silent alarms or alert coworkers. They could also act slowly or communicate with the thief about the small amount of cash on hand and the length of time it will take for them to get what they need.

Change your bank system
Above all else, how your bank is designed can prevent robberies and improve security.

For example, any technology that automates the cash cycle can be beneficial in this case. Options include cash recyclers, which accurately count cash and secure the money itself. For tellers, these tools can deter criminals because they can limit the amount of cash on hand – and the amount that can be withdrawn during any one transaction. Another option is a cash dispenser, which has a similar effect on robberies.

Overall, technology is your greatest ally when it comes to security. You want your bank to have systems in place that handle cash transactions and streamline the process for your employees. This lowers the amount of risk and allows your team to focus more on security, awareness and customer service. All of this is a win for your bank branch.

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