Absolut Bank: new aspects of reliability

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21.07.2016 08:44:09 Page views 2735 views

Absolut Bank has become the first commercial bank in Russia to start using the security cases technology in CIT operations.
Vladimir Urakayev, Director of the Safety Department of Absolut Bank, tells us about technologies in providing CIT operations safety which has become even more relevant to the Russian market and why the use of security cases has been brought to the forefront.

Vladimir Urakayev, Director of the Safety Department of Absolut Bank

Vladimir Urakayev, Director of the Safety Department of Absolut Bank, tells us about technologies in providing CIT operations safety which has become even more relevant to the Russian market and why the use of security cases has been brought to the forefront.

PLUS: In general what is the relevance of the robbery threat for carriers of valuables, including bank CIT employees in the conditions of today's economic realities?

V. Urakayev: Unfortunately, the human society is not becoming more perfect, therefore crimes against the person aimed at seizing material assets are still relevant.

The threat of attack against CIT operators has not been removed from the agenda today, on the contrary, it is getting worse in the difficult economic situation.

Both criminal chronicles and official statistics state it.

Analysts of Absolut Bank are constantly monitoring all such information regarding the Russian market, and almost daily they read reports about robberies of CIT employees, bank branches, forced opening of self-service devices, and other similar stories.

Certainly, all of that make banks look timely for new effective approaches to improve the safety transportation of valuables and, of course, to protect CIT employees.

As a result, financial structures combine innovative solutions with already traditional reliable safeguards: weapon, individual protection means, armored vehicles, location-based control of CIT routes, etc.

As for Absolut Bank, the most important thing for us is improving technologies providing minimization of risks associated with the death of CIT employees and theft of valuables. One of such innovative approaches is usage of security cases for cash carrying, the project that we plan to launch in Moscow and in Moscow region already in July 2016.

PLUS: Could you tell us a few words about nature of this technology and its capabilities? Thanks to what the safety of cash being carried in security cases as well as CIT employees themselves is provided? How reliable are such solutions?

V. Urakayev: We started pre-project works on the use of security cases for cash carrying over a year ago. The main advantage of such devices is that any unauthorized attempt to open security case by any means would lead to instantaneous staining of banknotes within it. Thus, banknotes are instantly neutralized.

Criminals will not be able to use them either in a trade network where stained notes will be immediately recognized even by inexperienced cashiers who will call the police, or in self-service devices where detectors are configured is such a way that they can recognize the slightest presence of staining, nor much less in bank branches.

Thus, the meaning of theft with the use of such a response system is completely lost: even if criminals manage to steal a security case, when he attempts to open it (drill, cut, blow up, expose it to chemically active substances or electromagnetic impulse) the special case protection system will be activated.

Security cases reduce almost to non-existence the possibility of attacks on CIT operators.

That is to say, as I mentioned above, all banknotes in a security case will be stained instantly. Moreover, the protection system destroys vacuum plastic packaging that protects money making each banknote in a security case to be stained to some extent.

Staining package has a property to spread over a substrate by capillary method. Even the smallest drop on a banknote will be enough to mark it with a noticeable spot of the indelible stain. For the same reason even the banknotes located in the middle of the stack are going to be stained.

I'd add that it is impossible to remove staining from banknotes by any means, because it penetrates them at a molecular level. At the same time, the bank can bring the contents of the security cases activated and abandoned by criminals and exchange "injured" banknotes to the new ones in Cash and Settlement Centre of the Central Bank of Russia. We have already reached the appropriate agreement with the regulator.

What two most important problems of CIT operation do security cases solve?

Firstly, they guarantee compensation for cash carried by a bank in case of attempt of criminals on them.

Secondly, it is minimization of risk for life and health of CIT operations services employees, since attacking them, as noted, becomes meaningless.

All CIT teams of Absolut Bank in Moscow and Moscow Region are going to be equipped with new security cases this summer.

PLUS: What part does Absolut Bank assign to the use of security cases in its CIT operations?

V. Urakayev: As it is known, Sberbank has pioneered the implementation of security cases on the Russian market, and it is gradually developing this direction. At the same time Absolut Bank with all certainty can be called the first commercial bank to start using this technology in practice on Russian market. As I already mentioned we successfully combine security cases with traditional technologies and methods for ensuring safety, such as weapons and body armors of CIT employees, armored vehicles, etc. The fact is that only the awareness of criminals that they are dealing with a decision that does not leave any chance to get money can secure all guarantees for the life of carriers of valuables.

Otherwise, robberies may persist for longer because nobody is aware of it.

Certainly, the bank will not bear any material losses, yet CIT employees may suffer from it. In other words, we perceive all this as a whole in order to exclude all risks. That is why one of our priorities is to make information available to the wider community concerning what the security cases look like, whether they are in the hands of CIT employees or in armored cars, and that any robbery attempt is meaningless.

The security cases which our CIT department has at their disposal are of different capacity that makes it possible to meet the needs of all customers. Currently, we use the security cases made by StrongPoint.

In the future all CIT teams of Absolut Bank who are operating on the territory of Moscow and Moscow Region will be equipped with security cases; in other operations areas, CIT operations are provided with the help of our partner structures.

The security case Q-Case Maxi of the latest series weighs only 7.8 kg and its capacity is up to 8000 banknotes.

The security cases which our CIT department have at their disposal are of different capacity that makes it possible to meet the needs of all customers. Currently, we use the security cases of the StrongPoint company.

In the near future, all CIT teams of Absolut Bank who are operating on the territory of Moscow and Moscow Region will be equipped with security cases; in other regions we effect encashment with the help of our partner structures.

PLUS: What kind of changes in work of the CIT service will introduction of security cases result in?

V. Urakayev: Of course, introduction of this technology which we have previously tested for more than a year will lead to a number of crucial developments in work of the CIT service of our bank. As of today, we have already modernized some vehicles for operations with security cases and conducted necessary trainings of employees of the CIT department and cashiers of the Bank. In our opinion trainings play a really important role: the human factor when dealing with this kind of solutions means a lot, a mistake made by a CIT employee or cashier may lead to the activation of a security case and spoilage of cash and, therefore, to the need of acquiring additional cases instead of the "activated" ones.

PLUS: Currently, the market offers a number of such solutions from different manufacturers. Why did you make your choice in favour of StrongPoint products?

V. Urakayev: Before making a decision on introduction of such a technology, we did substantial preparatory work: we analyzed international experience and best global practices. As a result, Absolut Bank has chosen precisely the production that mostly matches requirements and objectives of modern security level. At the same time international and Russian certificates of quality and safety for devices were a mandatory condition. In addition, both security cases and staining package had to meet the standards of the Central Bank of the Russia.

The security cases and related equipment of the StrongPoint company met all these strict criteria. During the tests they have been recognized as the simplest in service and at the same sufficiently attractive by price.

PLUS: What is your assessment of the prospects of such products when carrying valuables in Russia?

V. Urakayev: The practice shows that the technology we chose is one of the most promising ones, particularly in terms of minimization of risks during CIT operations. The price of this technical solution is partly a deterrent. Nevertheless, we believe that if successful, we will show the way to other banks that are also interested in improving safety of CIT operations and general reliability of the bank. Great demand for this technology, as developers think, should inevitably lead to reduction of price due to the "scale effect".


StrongPoint: security cases which everyone needs

Today, the demand for StrongPoint's Q-Cases for transportation of valuables shows the record growth throughout the history of the manufacturer's activities.

We haven't had to deal with such volume of orders, including those from major European and Russian banks.

The Savings Bank of Russia (Sberbank), Absolut Bank and a number of other large credit institutions which have chosen StrongPoint's products are among our main customers.

Of course, our customers are becoming more demanding, proposing new requirements to our solutions and products. For example, a new strategy of our customers is the use of more ergonomic cases with a top-loading design. Following customer requirements, we deliberately narrow the range of products according to their business targets simultaneously improving ergonomics and introducing new design solutions in order to simplify operation and maintenance of Q-Cases and reduce their weight.

For example, new security cases have lost recently 1 kilogram. As a consequence, the weight of Q-Case Maxi is 7.8 kg which is a record for security cases with a capacity up to 8000 banknotes.

All key components and parts of our products are protected by international patents. Inks are produced by world known Swiss company Sicpa, manufacturer of security stains for banknotes and securities which have a permission of the Central Bank of Russia for application such inks on the territory of Russian Federation, and they are used in the products.

The Q-Case is also certified in the countries where the requirement for usage of security cases for transportation of valuables is codified, for example, in France where highest standards in terms of security cases are required. These certificates also mean instant neutralization 100% of a security case content at any attempt of its breaking or unauthorized opening.

The testing results of our products by a number of independent experts have also confirmed their quality and efficiency. In Russia tests for usage of banknotes stained in the result of a security case activation have been carried out by SENSIS company, an expert in the field of components for ATMs and self-service systems. According to the test results, all of the twenty most distributed cash acceptors in Russia didn’t accept banknotes with traces of staining which were in the activated Q-Cases.

Journal:  PLUS Journal 7 (230) 2016

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