The Role of GPS Tracking Devices in Financial Institutions

Regardless of a financial institution’s size or tenure, theft is a constant concern.  According to the most recent FBI statistics, there were just over 4,000 robberies and burglaries at U.S. banks in 2016.  Even worse, these institutions were protected—the vast majority of those included in the FBI’s study had alarm systems and surveillance cameras installed.  However, as the modern thief becomes more sophisticated, financial institutions must also evolve their methods of preventing loss. One way to up the ante is with GPS tracking devices.

While it’s certainly important to have other methods of protection in place, GPS tracking devices assist with more than prevention.  They ensure there’s a plan for asset recovery.


Benefits of GPS Tracking Devices

The greatest benefit of a GPS tracking device is its effectiveness.

Back in 2010, before GPS tracking devices were commonplace in financial institutions, they helped foil some major robbery attempts.  One Illinois bank had the devices inserted in its bundles of cash.  When three men stole $9,000 from the bank, police were able to track down the thieves in less than an hour.  Additionally, Linn County State Bank, an Iowa institution with multiple branches, has used tracking devices in its cash bundles since 2010.  Both of these instances prove that GPS tracking devices work.

Aside from their accuracy in tracking down stolen assets, GPS tracking devices are quite small, which makes them easy to conceal inside money bags or bundles of money.  They incorporate microchip technology that enables fast, wireless tracking. And they can even help generate customized reporting about how and when money is being moved within an institution.


How GPS Tracking Devices Work

GPS tracking devices can be planted in money bundles or bags, armored vehicles, or even ATMs.  Also because of their size, they can easily fit inside vinyl envelopes and transport containers.  The money tracking devices include bite-size wireless modems, which connect to software at a designated remote location.  

Ideally, the devices will already be placed in cash bags or bundles (or vehicles or ATMs) before a robbery takes place. Thus, if theft occurs, no action is required from bank staff.  The thief takes off, and authorities are immediately able to track their location.

Regarding placement in armored vehicles, the devices can use geofencing to ensure the driver stays within a preset boundary.  Managers can even utilize the devices to remotely lock doors, sound alarms, and monitor fuel levels.


Main Purposes for GPS Tracking Devices

Of course, the primary purpose of using GPS tracking devices is to recover stolen funds in the event of a robbery, as indicated in previous examples.  The devices are unknowingly stolen, making it easy to track the location of stolen assets and retrieve them. However, there are other ways to put GPS tracking devices to good use.

The devices can help monitor transfers of assets from bank to bank.  When cash leaves the bank in an armored truck, GPS tracking devices help ensure the money reaches its intended destination in a timely fashion.  And if the truck goes off-route or takes longer than expected, it can be tracked right away.

Additionally, these devices can help thwart internal theft by tracking the movement of assets within a single building (i.e. between safes, from safes to cash drawers, etc.).

Protecting a financial institution from theft isn’t just about prevention.  GPS trackers ensure your assets stay secure even after they leave the building.  To find out more about GPS tracking devices and finance security options, contact us to discuss your needs.


Published on August 30, 2021