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How to Battle Unwanted Loitering and Vagrancy at ATMs

parabit access control system will eliminate vagrancy and loitering in atm lobbies

As noted in the article, Rags in front of riches from the,

“Scores of homeless people camped out and sheltering from the cold in ATM vestibules across New York City, as banks struggle to battle 'crime and vagrancy' that has run rampant at their branches.”

The DailyMail is not the only one reporting on the rampant challenges in New York City right now. noted in the article, NYC banks locking up ATM vestibules to keep out homeless,

“It is getting harder for some people to access ATMs at night in New York City because banks are reportedly locking up vestibules that house the cash machines due to problems with homeless people. From setting up makeshift shelters to using them to relieve themselves, ATM vestibules have become a nuisance problem at some Midtown Manhattan banks.”

But New York City is not alone in dealing with rising crime, homelessness, and encampments being made in ATM lobbies. Claire Meyer states, in the article Coping with Vagrancy in ATM Vestibules from,

“Richard Mercuri, CPP, corporate security director for a northeastern U.S. bank and a member of the ASIS Banking and Financial Services Community Steering Committee, tells Security Management that the number of homeless people who had to be removed from ATM vestibules in his organization’s network tripled over the past two years.”

Banks and financial institutions are turning to locking their doors early and limiting access to their banks. The article Banks in New York City to Shutter ATMs Overnight to Keep Out the Homeless by Kurt Stolz from mentions that,

“A number of banks are quietly locking the doors to their ATM lobbies before midnight and reopening them in the early morning hours. The action is being taken as part of an effort to keep homeless people from encamping in the ATM lobbies, some using the lobby as a public toilet and as a place to take drugs, which is creating a safety hazard for both customers and bank employees.”

This solution affects customers' ability to deposit or withdraw on their own schedule. A person who works unusual hours and wants to deposit or withdraw in the middle of the night will now have a problem doing so, and people who work late and can’t get to the bank until it’s later at night just to find that it is closed causes a negative impact on the customer experience, as well cash flow.

Is there another solution? The answer: Parabit Access Control System.

Control who enters your facility and when. Delivering the infrastructure for security & compliance as well as innovative applications of Mobile & Bluetooth® Technology. From 24-hour managed access to complex initiatives, the ACS-1EUL provides critical components that enhance customer experience and improve business performance.


The Parabit MMR (multi-media reader) and MMRC (multi-media reader contactless) are the class-leading, industry standards for ATM lobbies/vestibules, branches, and general retail businesses. With remote facility monitoring and management, physical overlay & RFID skimmer detection, remote loitering detection, single customer/group access loitering detection, the ability to block NFC cards, mobile wallet, and wearable tech credentials, and so much more, the Parabit ACS solution will provide you with the ability to keep your branches open and keep out vagrants and unwanted loitering.

Facility sensors give you the information you need about your facility. Use these sensors to automate functions like lighting or lobby access, set customized alerts for events like loitering or door ajar, and control your lobby remotely with integrated shutdown support.


The high-definition Active Presence Detector is used to monitor and detect activity within an ATM Lobby. Use it in conjunction with an automatic door lock to limit the number of people allowed in the lobby at a time. Mounting the unit to the ceiling prevents blind spots, and the sensor width can be calibrated as to not be activated by activity outside the lobby.


By combining the door sensor and active presence detector, you can detect individuals who may be overstaying their welcome. This can trigger a silent alert to security personnel to check on the area, offer a verbal warning if integrated with a speaker system, and more.


The door sensor is an integral part of a complete sensor security solution. It may seem simple, but it's the best way to ensure that the door is closed when it's supposed to be and is crucial to any automatic or remote lockdown routines. Past that, it alerts you if the door is ajar, which may mean it is being propped open or held open by a visitor. It can work in conjunction with Active Presence Detection to know if visitors are loitering and let you know how many visitors you have in a day and help limit the number of people in the lobby at any one time.



ACS Enterprise® supports remote facilities monitoring and management for branches with ACS-1EUL installations. Remotely program and manage ATM lobbies and self-service banking terminals around the globe. Download brochure.


Mobile devices – from smartphones to wearable tech such as smartwatches help simplify everyday tasks. When the Parabit Mobile App SDK is integrated with a financial institution’s mobile banking App, it allows customers to access a tellerless branch or an ATM lobby during branch after hours. Download brochure.


SaaS ACS Software Suite is now provided as Software as a Service (SaaS). The SaaS solution provides rapid deployment of our supervised remote managed ACS-1EUL-MMR-BT Access Control solution.​ Download brochure.

For more information or a quote email or fill out our contact form here.


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