Mercifully, we no longer live in the wild west, a place in which Jesse James and his gang could swoop into a bank, gun a-blazin’, and take as much money as they could carry. But hundreds of thousands of dollars – if not millions – go through the average bank branch each and every day. That’s a lot of money for those small buildings and their staff to keep safe. Due to the, shall we say, desirable nature of the resources that they take care of, banks have been forced to get creative over the years with how they keep – and protect – your money.
Privacy Is Key
As with just about any establishment, there are certain areas for customers, and certain areas that only employees are allowed to have access to. However, there are areas within the bank, such as the safety deposit box room, in which there is some overlap: an employee area that certain customers are allowed into. Most banks these days utilize a high tech ID card system which allows employees to get to wherever they need to go, and allows customers with ‘special’ access to get where they need to go unimpeded; companies like Avon Security Products produce high-quality plastic ID card printers, lanyards, and protective casings in order to implement just such a system.
Facial Recognition Software
A good old-fashioned security guard might not have been able to stop Jesse James and his gang 100 years ago, but given the plethora of help security guards get these days, one per shift is usually enough for most banks. There are a number of reasons for this – high tech access needed to reach the inner workings of the bank, nearly everything being bullet proof, the bulk of the cash not being easily transmittable – but one of the big ones is facial recognition software. This technology is used by sports arenas, corporate buildings, and high-volume tourist spots to ensure that certain people cannot get in. Police and security guards will be instantly alerted if someone who, for example, has been banned or has a warrant out for their arrest tries to enter.
It’s no surprise that most money these days exists in the ephemeral cloud – online digital ‘bank vaults’ that keep your money safer than a physical bank ever could. When you make a deposit, the bills and checks that you slip into the ATM envelope are only physical representations of actual money, which, online, is formless. This means that fewer and fewer banks even bother to have that much cash on the premises, at least compared to in the past.
Think banks only dole out extravagant insurance coverage? Think again! They make extensive use of large, corporate-scale insurance plans. Because the truth is that bank robberies do still happen – just not (or rarely) the old-fashioned way. Hackers can access bank mainframes and get to the ‘nest egg’ of money. Armored cars are sometimes hijacked, but, because it is insured, even if the physical money is taken that never means your money is taken. Banks are more prepared than ever to be robbed these days and have taken precautions to make sure it doesn’t get back to you or its investors.