Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A guy walks into a bar and drinks 8 drinks throughout the night. The bartender pours top shelf drinks for him but charges for well, because he is her boyfriend. Here’s another; a woman is only charged for every other item at the grocery store because her son is the cashier. For retail businesses, internal theft is the biggest source of loss. Catching an employee sneaking out with a flat screen TV is much rarer than a cashier manipulating the system to give away merchandise to their friends or family.
I’ll list out a few statistics from the recent Point of Sale Theft Report, done by eConnect…
34% of all 18-29 year old employees believe it is justifiable to steal from their employer
60% of business failures are a direct result of internal theft
On average customers reported that retail cashiers caught stealing via exception reporting stole $87 per day
Point of Sale or “POS” integration is simply combining video and information from a cash register. It is a great retail security resource for a manager or owner to monitor sales. With a camera, one can see that a customer came to the register and made a purchase and money was exchanged. When the POS is added to the video now the whole story can be told. What was rung up? Was it rung up for the correct price? How much cash was collected? Was every product scanned?
Integrating POS Text Overlay
There are two types of POS integrations. The first type involves text overlay. A VSI-Pro POS Text Overlay connects to the output of a cash register and the chosen camera. The unit stamps the data from the register onto the video from the camera and sends the modified video out to a HD DVR. The VSI-Pro has a huge compatibility list (here’s a pdf of the manual), including many older standalone style registers. The video can go straight into any DVR. If someone has an older style register or a standalone DVR, then the VSI-Pro is right for them. It is universal and easy to install.
The downside is that the video and the data are stuck together forever. The data on the screen is not recorded as data but instead as an image. Also anything behind it can be blocked by the text.
On the top two images we can see a cashier scanning a candy bar instead of a bottle of liquor. With just the video, it would be hard to notice. With the POS Text overlay we can see it clearly.
On the bottom two pictures we see that the bartender sold 6 drinks and chips but only charged for a beer and a soda.
Integrating a POS Data Capture Device
The other type of POS integration is a data capture device that interfaces with PC based DVR’s. Here at 2M we sell the Geovision brand of POS interface. Though the PC style of POS integration serves the same purpose as the VSI-Pro, they work differently. The unit will connect to a POS register and then connect straight to the PC. The info bypasses the cameras and is stored separate from the video. In the VSI-pro text overlay the words and numbers are simply stored on the video. With the Data Capture a database is created and it has advanced search features. Now the manager can search for time of day, keywords, or abnormal transactions.
Why did that cashier hit “No Sale” and open the register drawer? Was it to make change or steal cash? With the Geovision system, search “No Sale” and pull up a list of transactions accompanied with the video from any camera attached to the DVR. The data is not attached to a specific camera. Any camera can be viewed with the streaming data. If there were 32 cameras on one register (which would be crazy) then the any of those cameras can be view with the register data.
The downside of the Geovision system is that it is not universal. The unit will interface with most PC based POS registers with a detached printer and a Geovision PC based DVR. It will not work with older style registers or any other brand of DVR. It is great for a new system, but it will not work if there is already an older system in place.
Whichever route is taken, POS integration is a crucial component to a retail business’s loss prevention. The initial cost of the equipment will easily be offset by the amount of money made by charging the correct amount for products. There are other added benefits as well. Sometimes an employee may make an honest mistake and forget to look at the bottom of the basket or ring up an item on which the customer has switched barcodes. Having video is a great training tool. And of course we have all heard the famous “I gave you a $20 and you only gave me change for a $10”. Well now we can watch the video in a few seconds instead of balancing the till and expecting the customer to take your word.