Text overlay refers to the placing of text over video, and in loss prevention is shorthand for visualizing a receipt over the paired video of the transaction.
What is text overlay?
Text overlay refers to placing written text over a video, for example the closed captions on a TV show or movie. In loss prevention, text overlay specifically refers to putting receipt text onto paired video of the transaction.
Traditionally, this is accomplished with a text inserter box. These systems are usually installed in conjunction with CCTV security cameras and the text inserter includes transaction data, superimposed onto the security video feed.
However, text inserter boxes have some clear issues. First, the boxes are another piece of expensive hardware to purchase, maintain, and replace. Second, text inserter boxes permanently burn the receipt onto the paired video, occluding key details.
Text overlay can now be performed without a text inserter box. That means you can toggle the receipt text overlay on and off while reviewing videos to clearly see what is happening during the transaction.
Why is text overlay important?
Text overlay is a key tool in a successful loss prevention strategy. The point of sale (POS) is often the main location of both internal and external theft in businesses. From using no-sale till opens to take cash from the register to using voids and discount abuse to give friends and family free/discounted items, the POS is used for many forms of theft.
However, these high-risk transaction types also have legitimate uses. Legitimate voids, returns, and discounts happen daily, so while a certain transaction type might be indicative of theft, it’s impossible to know for sure with just the receipt.
By pairing video and POS data, text overlay systems allow you to see exactly what is happening. This can help you reduce theft, as well as confirm that all employees are following proper operational procedures.