Francis Menassa: How advanced technology can help in the fight against cash machine crime
Increase in ATM attacksWorryingly, in the last few years, the number of violent attacks on ATMs in the UK has increased significantly. Indeed, according to a 2018 report from ATM operator Cardtronics, between 2014 and 2017 the number of violent attacks on ATMs in the UK surged from 400 to 722, an increase of more than 80%. ATMs in rural areas, in particular, have been targeted by thieves, as these machines are often more isolated and can hold over £100,000 in cash.
“Luckily, many of these ATM attacks have been unsuccessful. However, the effects on communities can be devastating. Buildings are often damaged quite badly, and it can take over four months for an ATM to reopen after an attack, leaving people in remote areas without access to cash”, – Francis Menassa.Unfortunately, we are likely to see more of these kinds of attacks in the years ahead. According to Cardtronics, the number of attacks on ATMs could triple between 2016 and 2025. For this reason, police forces across the UK are collaborating with the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) to protect cash collections and deliveries from criminals. CCTV monitoring, extra patrol cars, secure cash containers that contain dye that explodes when tampered with, and smart water, which marks criminals for up to five years, are all being used to deter criminals.
Using technology to safeguard cashAdvances in telematics – a unique combination of telecommunications devices, wireless connectivity, electrical engineering and IT – are also playing a vital role in the battle against cash logistics crime. The combination of advanced software solutions and state-of-the-art hardware can offer high levels of security and control for tracking cash, and this can subsequently help protect against ATM theft. Bringing together telecommunications, vehicle technologies, and computer science, telematics helps companies monitor vehicles on the move. Providing real-time vehicle tracking and route reporting, the technology is commonly used within fleet management to improve driver safety, vehicle efficiency, and customer service.
“For example, telematics can help businesses monitor driver location while simultaneously updating drivers on weather or traffic conditions. However, we’re now seeing telematics used in a wide variety of industries and cash logistics in one industry in which the technology can add a lot of value”, – Francis Menassa.
Advanced securityOne of the key advantages of telematics technology is that it can be integrated with other software, mobile, and data applications. This means that there is no need to have separate network connections for devices. As a result, it’s now possible to have full control of a network through a secure central communications hub. This is a major benefit for the cash logistics industry. For example, when it comes to protecting the security of high-value assets such as cash-in-transit vehicles, telematic solutions have the ability to immobilise vehicles at any time. By incorporating anti-theft and anti-jamming devices, network operators are able to secure weak points when a driver is most at risk. And in relation to ATMs, fully remote-controlled telematics security solutions can switch off ATMs and shut down their power, preventing access, in the event of an attack. The fight against cash-related crime is a continuous battle. However, modern technologies such as telematics, which helps businesses communicate fleet vehicle location and safety metrics in real time, are making a difference. As technology continues to advance, criminals are likely to find it much harder to get away with crime.
Francis Menassa is JAR Tracking’s majority shareholder and CEO and Founder of JAR Capital, an independent wealth management firm based in St. James’s, London.
Menassa has invested in industries ranging from real estate to pharmaceuticals, aviation, fine art and financial technology.
He’s also passionate about motorsport and is the sponsor of Formula Four driver Rashed Ghanem, whose ambition is to emulate the exploits of Lewis Hamilton in Formula One.
Francis Menassa’s love of sport melds with his charitable endeavours. This was evident last year when he sponsored a four-man team who competed in a cross-Atlantic race, known as the world’s toughest row, to raise money for Over the Wall (a charity that helps children with serious illnesses).
For nearly a decade Menassa has also been a patron of DEBRA, which supports individuals and families affected by Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).
Francis Menassa’s career in the City began more than 20 years ago. After developing private banking experience at Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse, he went independent in 2007 and set up Plurimi Capital with a partner, ahead of founding JAR Capital in 2014. Menassa has an LLB (Hons) in Law from the University of Buckingham .