Join or Sign in

Register for your free membership or if you are already a member,
sign in using your preferred method below.

To check your latest product inquiries, manage newsletter preference, update personal / company profile, or download member-exclusive reports, log in to your account now!
Login asmag.comMember Registration

3VR protects Members 1st Federal Credit Union

3VR protects Members 1st Federal Credit Union
As a former officer on the Pennsylvania State Police organized crime detail, Charles (Chip) McBreen has intimate and extensive knowledge of video surveillance equipment. He also spent a number of years working for a national alarm company before being hired to lead security at Members 1st Federal Credit Union in 2003.

His experience with surveillance technology immediately became useful in his new position. Members 1st FCU was relying on VCRs for video collection and storage. McBreen quickly came to realize that the credit union’s current video set-up was not going to be useful in mitigating the security threats and fraud issues so prevalent in today’s banking environment. The VCRs could hold about 36 hours of video, but with the rare exception of a robbery, the bank didn’t find out about an incidence of check or account fraud, its biggest source of loss, until a few days after the event occurred at best. Even if the bank had the video, searching through it was an arduous task. He immediately set forth with a search to replace the VHS recorders with a newer product.

McBreen initially purchased a PC-based DVR because it enabled multiple users. But when the units began failing permanently after only two years he found himself once again on the search for a better, more intelligent solution.

McBreen liked the features of the 3VR solution including intelligent search functionality, facial recognition and hybrid capabilities, but he was skeptical. McBreen piloted 3VR’s Video Intelligence Platform in its busiest branch, the location that also had the highest number of fraudulent transactions and the most robberies

The 3VR solution

On average, there are 22 analog cameras deployed at Members 1st FCU’s standalone branches. 3VR’s award-winning facial surveillance analytics are deployed on approximately 10 cameras and four are operating with 3VR’s license plate recognition capability outside of the branch on various exits and entryways, as well as ATMs.

These advanced analytics enable investigators to use 3VR’s patented technologies to identify and track suspects, and develop trends on potentially fraudulent activity across Members 1st FCU’s branch network.

The credit union also has a number of megapixel cameras in place. 3VR’s hybrid capability will enable the credit union to use analog, megapixel, PTZ and IP cameras in its video system as needs evolve.

3VR’s intelligent search functions make the solution a primary component of the credit union’s fraud reduction program. Being able to search through hours of recorded and archived video quickly and efficiently has helped investigators determine repeat offenders or trends across multiple locations.

If McBreen is able to identify a similar face to a known perpetrator using 3VR’s built-in analytics, he can quickly e-mail the image to the appropriate branch or manager, or e-mail high quality images to police in mere minutes.

Most notably, McBreen was able to leverage the power of the 3VR solution to stop a scam within the credit union’s lending department. In the summer of 2009, individuals were applying for car loans with false identifications. These perpetrators were approved for the loans using the IDs but never made payment on the loans. Members 1st FCU was able to use 3VR Video Intelligence Platform to solve that case, which had cost the credit union approximately $100,000. McBreen was able to locate the transactions’ corresponding video footage and was able to pull up images of people involved. He then was able to search across his branches for similar individuals, gathering key evidence before handing the investigation over to the police.

A proactive approach

Members 1st FCU leverages the strengths of its security and fraud reduction team coupled with innovative technologies like 3VR’s to be able to mitigate an astounding 92 percent, or $5.7 million of the $6.2 million of fraud attempted against the credit union this year.

Members 1st FCU’s efforts have paid off. Not only has it recovered a substantial percentage of dollars, it has subsequently reduced the chance that criminals will target the company’s branches. Today, McBreen said he and his team are working approximately 19 cases per month, down from 35 cases per month before the credit union embarked on an aggressive combination of personnel and technology in its campaign against fraud.

Members 1st FCU also uses 3VR’s CrimeDex, an online database of criminal incidents available to the private and public sector, and a complimentary service to 3VR customers. The service enables Members 1st FCU to share information, including photos or video clips, on criminal incidents or potential fraudsters.


Members 1st Federal Credit Union is committed to growth. It is, on average, committed to adding four additional branches to its existing network of more than 30 full-service branches and 141,000-plus members. Branches may vary from standalone locations to those inside giant grocery stores. In 2010, the credit union added 10 branches.

McBreen is eager to integrate the 3VR Video Intelligence Platform with its teller transaction system. This will marry transactional data to video, enabling McBreen to view video footage associated with a specific transaction. For example, if a customer who approached a teller window was found later to have cashed a fraudulent check, Members 1st could search for the transaction in its system and pull up the corresponding video to view the perpetrator.

Product Adopted:

Share to:
Comments ( 0 )