Despite Changing Technology, ATMs are Not Cashing Out

The announcement last week that the iPhone 6 will include a new service called Apple Pay has caused a lot of buzz – what Apple product launch doesn’t? – and almost as much confusion. In case you missed it, Apple Pay is a new method of mobile payments that uses Near Field Communication (NFC), enabling users to make purchases by tapping or placing their iPhone 6 or Apple Watch (for iPhone 5x owners) near a sensor. Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from the three major payment networks – American Express, MasterCard and Visa – representing “83 percent of credit card purchase volume in the US,” Apple states in a news release.

What does this have to do with Automated Teller Machines (ATM), those once novel, now ubiquitous cash dispensers that rose to prominence in US in the 1980s?

With the advent of the “digital wallet” and adoption of mobile banking technologies such as photo check deposits, one might conclude that we are now a nearly cashless society. While alternative banking platforms might mean lower volumes at ATMs, new mobile technologies don’t mean the end of ATMs. In 2012, consumers made 5.8 billion ATM withdrawals totaling $687 billion in value. According to the 2013 Federal Reserve Payments Study Detailed Report published by the Financial Services Policy Committee of the Federal Reserve this past summer, “The number of ATM withdrawals decreased 0.9 percent per year from 2009 to 2012. However, during the same period, the total dollar value of ATM withdrawals increased 2.0 percent, and the average withdrawal value increased from $108 to $118.

Cash is still king, even if it has contenders for the throne.

Emerging standards such as Europay/Mastercard/Visa (EMV) will certainly mean risk and expense for ATM network operators and owners. EMV is a global standard for the interoperability of integrated circuit cards, or “smart chip” cards. Popular in Europe, EMV has been shown to offer better protection than magnetic stripe cards. Well-publicized fraud such as skimming and data breaches, and associated financial losses, have payment processors pushing retailers and banks in the US to use EMV compatible hardware. EMV will undoubtedly improve security and convenience for consumers, but it comes at significant cost to merchants and financial institutions. There is also a matter of liability shifting to consumers and intermediaries which we will explore at another time.

A study from Javelin Strategy & Research published in a blog from FIS puts the cost of replacing ATMs in the US with EMV-compatible machines at $500M. And that’s based on an estimate of 360,000 ATMs in 2007 from ATM & Debit News. Industry sources such as the National ATM Council, Inc. (NAC) now place that number at 420,000, adding more than $80M to that estimate.

Progress, it seems, comes with some growing pains. The end result of NCF and EMV payments – safer, faster transactions in form factors accepted globally – is thought to be worth the effort and investment.

In the meantime, consumers will still make trips to an ATM for pocket money or to make a deposit. That’s unlikely to change. Dunbar Armored is here to help maintain, protect and stock those machines for the financial institutions and independent ATM deployers who own them. Dunbar’s ATM service ensures efficient operation and continuous availability of ATMs. From cash replenishment and settlement, deposit sweeps, processing and inventory management, to automated reporting, emergency orders, and first-line maintenance, our service is proven to fit the needs of any ATM network. Learn more here.

Dunbar Remembers 9/11

On this day – September 11, 2014 – a horrific and life-changing series of events that transpired 13 years ago will be remembered in ceremonies big and small across this nation.  People will gather in town squares, houses of worship, the Pentagon, the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, the South Lawn of the White House, and many other places both grand and humble. The reason does not need to be identified. The numbers 9 and 11, separated by a slash, need no definition.

Much has and will be written and spoken about the shock, loss, suffering, and history-shaping morning of September 11, 2001. What more can be said? For our part, we will always extend our condolences to the families of those lost in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and subsequent, ongoing military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. And we will always say “thank you” to those who served and are serving in our armed forces and intelligence community to safeguard the United States of America from future attacks.

Back-to-School Means Reward and Risk to Retailers

When it comes to retail sales, back-to-school season may not be head of the class, but it does make Honor Roll. According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2014 Back-to-School Survey, the average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $669.28 this back-to-school shopping season, up 5 percent from 2013. NRF’s 2014 Back-to-College Survey found the average college student and their family will spend $916.48, up 10 percent from last year. Combined spending for back to school and college is expected to reach $74.9 billion.

Bricks-and-mortar stores will continue to be the prevalent sales channel. However, online and mobile commerce are expected to make significant gains. Changes in buyer behavior and volume create an unprecedented need to protect businesses and their customers from fraud and theft at all points of sale. Simply put, more customers and more transactions across more channels means more opportunity for criminal activity, including shoplifting, internal shrinkage and sophisticated cybercrime.

Dunbar Armored and Dunbar Cybersecurity, as our newly-branded information security division is now called, provide a full spectrum of physical and digital security services and solutions for 21st century retailers. Our retail customers enter the important third and fourth quarter selling seasons with confidence knowing that Dunbar manages and protects critical business operations.

The business case for retail investment in physical security and information security should not only be about protecting employees, customers and inventory. Damage to brand image is an inevitable and often enduring consequence of data breaches and other cybercrimes such as credit card skimming.

Back-to-School and Back-to-College surveys published in July by consulting firm, Deloitte, underscore the connection between personal data protection and winning over the consumer. Nearly six in 10 (55 percent) of respondents in the Back-to-School survey say they are more concerned about the protection of their personal data when shopping online than one year ago. Those worries extend to the physical store, where more than half (51 percent) of respondents said they are concerned about the protection of their personal data. However, 44 percent acknowledged that they are more likely to shop at a retailer who provides education surrounding the security of their personal data.

Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and Retail & Distribution practice leader, points out that “Given recent high-profile data breaches, consumers are keenly aware of potential threats. Retailers should consider risk management as a fundamental part of their brand reputation and long-term growth.  Securing the transactional environment is no longer a standalone component, and retailers need to be vigilant to detect abnormal activity, and also be ready and resilient enough to regain control should incidents occur.”

Dunbar Cybersecurity offers best-of-breed solutions for the financial, retail, and healthcare markets. Our products protect online transactions from fraud and phishing while protecting your control access strategy in a complete, cost-effective, integrated solution. Managed Services and Professional Services include:

  • Business Continuity
  • Intrusion Detection and Monitoring
  • Phishing and Fraud Protection
  • Protection of IT and E-Commerce Infrastructure
  • Mobile Security, including Governance, Risk and Compliance

Of course, Dunbar continues to provide retailers with physical security and cash management products and services as we have since 1923. Let us know how we can help you.

Note: Aforementioned studies from the National Retail Federation and Deloitte are available for free download by the respective authors. 

Employee Theft Takes a Bigger Bite Out of the Restaurant Profit

Last month on this blog we addressed Organized Retail Crime and referenced staggering data from the National Retail Federation’s 10th Annual Organized Retail Crime Survey published in May 2014. This month we turn our attention from external theft to preventing internal loss caused by individuals from within the business including employees, contractors and service providers such as cleaning staff.

Loss prevention professionals specializing in protecting restaurants from theft and risk will gather next week at the Restaurant Loss Prevention & Security Association 2014 Annual Conference in Orlando. Nearly all of the 50 largest restaurants chains in the US will attend. Keynote speakers include Steve Davis, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Bob Evans Farms, Inc.; Steve Miller, Manager, Security Business Integration with Walt Disney World; and executives from CKE Restaurants which operates Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s and two Tex-Mex restaurant chains.

Why are these busy executives trekking to Florida in August? One word: Necessity. In the hyper-competitive restaurant business, protecting employees, customers and assets means protecting profitability.

Unlike other retailers, the majority of loss at the nation’s restaurants results from employee waste, error, fraud and deliberate theft. Viewers of reality shows about the restaurant industry such as Food Network’s Mystery Diners and Spike TV’s Bar Rescue, even Undercover Boss on CBS, may understandably think the business is rife with dishonesty and incompetence. Although the real reality is not that dire, internal loss is a big problem for restaurant operators.

While the restaurant industry doesn’t compile granular data about employee theft and other loss, we can extrapolate from broader retail studies. A June 2014 news release from Jack L. Hayes International, leading loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm, decried “Shoplifters and Dishonest Employees Are Apprehended in Record Numbers by U.S. Retailers.”

Findings from the company’s 26th Annual Retail Theft Survey of 23 large retail companies with 23,204 stores and over $660 billion in retail sales in 2013 include:

  • Employee Apprehensions: 78,085 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2013, up 6.5% from 2012.
  • Employee Recovery Dollars: Over $55 million was recovered from employee apprehensions in 2013, up 2.5% from 2012.
  • One in every 39.5 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2013. (Based on over 3.0 million employees.)
  • On a per case average, dishonest employees steal 5.4 times the amount stolen by shoplifters ($706.21 vs $130.89).

As a provider of full spectrum security solutions – from physical security to cash management products to cybersecurity – Dunbar will be at the RLPSA 2014 Annual Conference in Orlando from August 3 – 6 to share our expertise gained from more than 90 years in the industry. We welcome the opportunity to meet you. Stop by booth #115 to learn about our wide range of retail solutions to protect your business. Our newest line of Dunbar Cash Manager Safes will be on display and available for hands-on demonstrations. These “smart safes” provide ongoing monitoring of activities and include state-of-the-art real-time counterfeit detection. When incorporated into your cash management processes, Dunbar Cash Manager Safes provide superior cash loss prevention.

We hope to see you in Florida next week.

Dunbar Armored Rallies Around Our Troops

Many companies in the US have rallied around our troops. And rightly so. Whether deployed in a combat zone forward operating base or military logistics installation across the country or halfway across the globe, all of our men and women in uniform have made personal sacrifices. Re-entry into civilian life can be difficult. The absence of routine, familiar military lexicon, professional networks and a still recovering economy can make finding a job especially difficult.

Helping our veterans is the right thing to do. But it is important to emphasize that hiring former military personnel has benefits to both veterans and employers. Our director of recruiting, Lynne Cassell, was recently interviewed by the publication of our veterans recruitment partner, G.I. Jobs Magazine. Cassell told the reporter, “I’ve been with Dunbar for 16 years, and I targeted veterans early on. For our armored division, we look for applicants who know how to use firearms or have security experience. This is why veterans are a good fit.  Veterans are a good fit because they have the skills we are seeking in our armored division. I’ve also found that if you take two candidates – one who is a veteran and one who is a civilian – the veterans are usually just more impressive; perhaps a little more mature.”

You will also find a profile of Dunbar Armored New Orleans branch manager, Christopher Castillo, in the current issue of G.I. Jobs Magazine. The 29-year-old Castillo was a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps who served from 2002 through 2006. His MOS was rifleman. He embodies the attitude and aptitude Dunbar Armored seeks in candidates. “My branch is not very big, but in a way that’s good because I’m learning more about the business operation. I’m responsible for the billing, invoicing, payroll, answering sales questions, administrative duties, and sometimes I’ll go out on a route if I’m short-staffed. I come in every morning in my uniform prepared to go on routes, and if all my driver guards are in, I’ll put my shirt and tie on,” said Castillo.

Another organization with which we partner to find and hire skilled veterans is Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The initiative was launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities. Hiring Our Heroes accomplishes this through engagement of the business community, more than 700 job fairs held across the country, and a suite of free online career tools. Dunbar Armored hiring representatives will be at Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair at Joint Base Charleston in Charleston, SC on June 25. Click either link or visit www.HiringOurHeroes.org  for details.

We encourage veterans to review current Dunbar Armored job openings across the country. At the time this blog was posted, there were 82 positions available. Please share this information with family and friends.

New Report Underscores Need to Fight Retail Loss on Multiple Fronts

The National Retail Federation (NRF) is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. The NRF’s mission statement is to “advance the interests of the retail industry through advocacy, communications and education.” The organization’s many activities include conducting extensive market research.

One recurring study is an annual survey which identifies the depth of organized retail crime throughout the industry. The 10th Annual Organized Retail Crime Survey was published on May 20. The report is based on responses from 76 senior loss prevention executives representing department/big-box stores, discount, drug, grocery, restaurant and specialty retailers.

The press release headline announcing is blunt: “A Decade Later, Organized Retail Crime Still Major Problem for Retailers.” Eight in 10 respondents indicated that they were victims of Organized Retail Crime (ORC). While this alone is troubling, digging into the well-parsed data (kudos to the NRF research team) reveals more trouble ahead. For the first time, NRF asked about organized retail crime and online operations. Nearly half (48.3%) say their online operations are affected. Frankly, we are surprised that number is not higher. The exponential growth of mobile and social commerce is certain to make retail transactions more vulnerable if not properly protected.

Of course, traditional threats remain. Physical robbery and burglary remain the primary means of cash theft. This includes headline-grabbing armed or otherwise violent robberies, and employee theft. Stealing cash from customer transactions, a cash drawer or fraudulent use of company accounts are the most common forms of employee theft. Research shows that the majority of employee thefts are not one-time incidents and offending employees often have “clean” employment records.

One thing is clear: the war on loss prevention is asymmetric and both physical and digital. ORC ranges from grab and go shoplifting attacks to credit card skimming and database breaches in which sophisticated criminals access sensitive information, including account numbers, from hundreds of thousands of retail customers.

Retail professionals specializing in asset protection, loss prevention and risk management will gather next week at the NRF Loss Prevention Conference + Expo in Orlando. Dunbar will be among the exhibitors. We welcome the opportunity to meet you. Stop by Booth 423 to learn about our wide range of retail solutions to protect your business. Our newest line of Dunbar Cash Manager Safes will be on display and available for hands-on demonstrations. These “smart safes” provide ongoing monitoring of activities and include state-of-the-art real-time counterfeit detection. When incorporated into your cash management processes, Dunbar Cash Manager Safes provide superior cash loss prevention.

Dunbar continuously innovates to meet the changing needs of our retail customers by delivering new products and services to market. From our iconic red armored transportation services to Dunbar Global Logistics and Dunbar Digital Armor, our cybersecurity services business, retailers can count on Dunbar to defend their business and customers.

We hope to see you in Florida next week.

 

Bring On The Bling In Las Vegas

Ever-dazzling Las Vegas is about to get glitzier and more glamorous with the arrival of JCK Las Vegas 2014 on May 30. JCK Las Vegas is the leading jewelry event in North America. Retailers, buyers, and designers from around the globe meet at JCK Las Vegas to showcase, buy and sell a fortune in gems, precious metals, exquisite jewelry and luxury timepieces. Dunbar Armored Global Logistics has been an Official Contractor to JCK Las Vegas for more than 20 years and we are pleased to once again be part of the annual event. Like many of the businesses present at JCK Las Vegas, Dunbar is family-owned, and always has been. This sets us apart from major competitors and is a characteristic that makes business personal.

Of course, Dunbar will be at JCK Las Vegas to safeguard valuables with our familiar armored services. Dunbar Armored Services, our iconic armored transportation business, is synonymous with security and reliability. After all, George W. Dunbar co-founded the first armored car service in New England – Mercer & Dunbar – in 1923. Our hardened, steel-plated red armored trucks are immediately recognized on streets across North America and the globe.

Not everyone is as familiar with the wide range of other services provided by Dunbar. Dunbar Global Logistics specializes in providing first class customer service and logistical expertise to the jewelry industry. Our dedicated jewelry team services over 200 trade shows annually, granting safety, security, and peace of mind to manufacturers, wholesalers, and designers. Your valuables are completely secure from the time of pickup, throughout the show’s duration, and during the return trip to the final destination.

JCK exhibitors can rely on us for vaulting, cash management and show support needs, including:

  • Secure point-to-point logistics to and from the show
  • On-site show services support team
  • At-show insurance
  • Vault storage at JCK and between shows
  • Dedicated support
  • Global network

Engaging Dunbar Global Logistics for your JCK security and logistics needs eliminates the exposure to risk that occurs when you personally transport and guard your own valuables. Contact us at 800-554-7363 or dglsales@dunbararmored.com to learn more. We look forward to serving you.

Concerned About Heartbleed? We Can Help

Business leaders fear the Heartbleed bug for good reason — the threat allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of systems protected by vulnerable versions of OpenSSL, the widely used cryptographic library. This compromises the secret keys used to encrypt traffic, names and passwords of users and content. Attackers can eavesdrop on communications, steal data, and impersonate services and users.

Software bugs come and go, and they’re generally fixed by new versions. But the Heartbleed bug has left large amount of private keys and other secrets exposed for a long time. Encryption keys are the crown jewels of cyber-security — leaked keys allow attackers to decrypt any past and future traffic to the “protected” services. Possible exposure should be taken seriously.

In the Age of Heartbleed, How Is Your Peace of Mind?

The good news for Dunbar Armored clients: The website we host for our Valu-Trak service, which includes data for our Veri-Trak system (cash vault reports detailing all deposit processing activity) are not susceptible to the Heartbleed threat.

More good news: We can help companies that might be susceptible. Part of our company’s evolution has been to enable customers to outsource their cyber-security risks to our Dunbar Digital Armor business. We’re now safeguarding information, brands, reputations and revenue for our customers 24/7, through a unified online platform.

One of Dunbar Digital Armor’s services is online business protection — CIOs get visibility into threats that could impact data integrity, service availability and customer privacy. Other services include mobile device security, social media and brand monitoring, phishing and fraud prevention, intrusion detection and monitoring, log management and daily review, secure document retention, and physical security and logistics.

A Great Post About Heartbleed

Dunbar Digital Armor has a passion for consumer education, and its response to the Heartbleed bug is an example. Check out this blog post about the threat, which includes four actions you can take today to make your system more secure.

To connect with a cyber-security professional, click here, or call Dunbar Digital Armor at 855-312-7618.

Choose Access Control That Can Grow With You

Keeping your employees, customers and property safe from damage, theft and other kinds of harm is a priority, but it’s not something you want to dwell upon day after day. You want to focus on your business, with the peace of mind of knowing it’s safe and secure.

To that end, when selecting a security services company, choose one that takes time to understand your specific needs today, and your projected needs tomorrow. Whether your business is large or small, the company should be able to customize an integrated or network-integrated solution to safeguard all facets of your firm.

The gist: Your security solution should be able to grow with you.

This is an important concept when it comes to managed access control. You need to provide access control within your organization, yet not have that system impede your business operations. Access control systems should help you stay secure yet inviting.

With Access Control from Dunbar, you can provide building and door-entry access to the right people, when and where they need it, while still protecting your premises. We can help you provide a safer work environment for your employees, yet not “go overboard” with a total lock-down system.

As you compare managed access control systems, here are good questions to ask:

  • Will the system be easy to install, set up and use?
  • Will the system empower you to respond immediately to an emergency?
  • Will you be able to make a change to employee access on the fly via the internet?
  • Will the system arm you with information at your fingertips about usage and other data, like who enters and exits your business at all times of the day?
  • Will you have a fully integrated card holder database so you know more about access door entry patterns and employee movement in your facility?
  • Will you be able to choose to have different levels of security at different entry points, based on your needs?
  • Will you be able to eliminate dedicated computers, software and people to manage the system?
  • Will upgrades be handled automatically?

Deciding on the right security level for your business is important. We can simplify the process and make sure you have an access-control solution that fits your needs. Call us today at 800-222-3126.

6 Important Trends from Payments Study

Cash remains a lifeblood for businesses of all sizes, even as new payment options become more popular. The prevalence of cash underscores the need for organizations to keep it secure and efficiently managed.

Even as the use of noncash payments expands, most retailers and consumers believe cash still has one important advantage — a sense of control and anonymity that many other payment forms cannot offer.

That truth provides the necessary backdrop to noncash payment trends coming to the fore. Those trends were revealed in the 2013 Federal Reserve Payments Study, which is free and available as a PDF here.

The study, conducted every three years, focuses on noncash payment trends in the United States. The 2013 study was based on annualized estimates of 2012 payment volumes. Here are six important highlights:

1. The total number of noncash payments, excluding wire transfers, was 122.8 billion, a growth rate of 4.4 percent annually from 2009 to 2012. The rate of growth was down slightly from the previous 10-year (2003-2012) growth rate of 4.7 percent. The total value of noncash payments grew from $72.2 trillion in 2009 to just under $79 trillion in 2012.

2. Total card payments (credit and debit) now account for more than two-thirds of all noncash payments. The number of debit card payments increased more than any other payment type from 2009 through 2012. Card use may have replaced check use for certain payments, but the increase in the number of card payments has far exceeded the decline in the number of check payments during that three-year span.

3. The number of credit card payments, after showing a slight decline from 2006 to 2009, returned to growth from 2009 to 2012.

4. Paper check writing continues to persist as a significant portion of noncash payments, but interbank processing and clearing of these checks are virtually all electronic. As in 2009, almost all checks in 2012 were either cleared by electronic image exchange or converted to Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments. In terms of overall check volume, the number of checks paid continues to decline, falling to 18.3 billion, less than half the number a decade earlier (37.3 billion).

5. Increasingly fewer checks enter the banking system as paper at all. In 2012, about one in six checks was deposited by accountholders as an electronic image rather than paper.

6. In 2012, cards had substantially higher totals of unauthorized transactions by number and value than ACH and checks. Card fraud rates by number and value were also substantially higher. The study estimates that there were 31.1 million unauthorized payment transactions in 2012, with a value of $6.1 billion.

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At Dunbar, we realize that cash is universal, fast, influential, anonymous, simple and direct. To businesses of all kinds, cash is still king, but your realm is unique: Each company’s cash management processes and requirements are different, including points of cash intake, estimated daily cash flow and time spent managing cash. Some companies need comprehensive security and loss-prevention measures; others simply want better control of money and employee accountability.

Dunbar can help you minimize cash losses, improve controls and accountability, enhance security and safety, and free your employees to focus on other critical business areas. We look forward to learning more about you. Call us at 800-888-2129.