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News

IP Surveillance For Security Self Service Check-Out Tills

Axis Communications : 29 May, 2012  (Technical Article)
Axis Communications explains how the use of IP video surveillance technology can help in preventing theft at the increasingly popular self-service tills at supermarkets
IP Surveillance For Security Self Service Check-Out Tills
The self check out till has a reputation for being unreliable, but are the reasons for the alarms going off as innocent as some customers would make out?

Shoplifting at self-service tills will soon be a problem of the past, according to Axis Communications, the global leader in the network video market, thanks to the continuing developments of IP CCTV technology.

Recent figures revealed that one third of UK shoppers admit to stealing using self-service tills. The customers surveyed said they used a range of tricks to dupe the automatic machines into giving them money off their shopping including selecting cheaper products while weighing their purchases; selecting 'small' when asked to enter the size of their item and placing items in plastic shopping bags without scanning them properly.

Atul Rajput, business development manager for retail at Axis Communications, said: "Self checkouts are on the rise, and although the cost savings from having them still outweigh the losses, shoplifting from canny customers as well as genuine mistakes from others, are a growing cause for concern for retailers.

"While most self checkout areas are supervised by a member of staff, with four to six kiosks to watch, it is impossible to spot every type of theft as it happens. Staff regularly override the checkouts when the technology does detect an unpaid for item in order to keep the queues flowing."

With many of the surveillance systems in these stores a massive amount of video of the self-service checkouts is being recorded, but never watched or reviewed, due to resource constraints. As a result, thefts are missed and suspicious behaviour is not noticed in time to prevent shoplifting.

Intelligent video is about reducing the vast amount of information contained in video, making it more manageable for systems and store operators to make use of what footage is being captured so that action can be taken when and where appropriate.

Atul continues: "IP surveillance cameras which are based on open standards, allow integration with innovate video analytic solutions to proactively flag up incidents of scan avoidance, helping retailers to stamp out the problem."

Scan-It-All is a loss prevention solution launched three years ago by StopLift which uses video analytic technology to monitor point of sale (POS) systems. A number of retailers have already deployed the solution with Axis cameras to flag up incidents of scan avoidance and the Scan-It-All solution has been used to monitor thousands of check-out lanes across the US and the UK. According to its CEO, Malay Kundu, the technology has revealed that scan avoidance of merchandise at self-service tills is up to five times higher than at manned checkouts.

Atul continues: "This technology is a great example of how video analytics are increasingly being integrated with IP cameras by retailers to help tackle shrinkage.

"Although external and internal theft will always be an issue for retailers, IP surveillance technology is constantly adapting to meet the challenge. As time goes on it will only get more difficult for opportunistic thieves to dupe both staff and in-store technology."
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