Why Transaction Window Security Matters

By December 18, 2021 February 17th, 2023 Uncategorized

Transaction windows make passing cash, documents, and other items back and forth easy and safe for everyone involved.


They can also serve a wide range of purposes, from preventing the spread of germs to making financial transactions more secure.


That’s why it’s important to use the right type of window for each application to ensure you’re not leaving any gaps in your building’s security.


What Is a Transaction Window?


A transaction window is any type of window that allows people to transfer materials back and forth through some kind of opening in the window. You’ve probably seen these types of windows in some of the following locations:


  • Banks
  • Currency exchange windows
  • Medical offices
  • Reception areas
  • Fast food drive-thrus
  • Gas stations
  • Ticket booths


Any commercial facility where you need to enable transactions between people, but want to limit the amount of access/contact the two parties have, can benefit from installing transaction windows. 


Here are a few examples of the different types of windows you can use for transactions:


Pass-through windows


These are one of the most common and most secure types of windows for making transactions. The term pass-through window can refer to one of many varieties of windows that have some sort of opening in them for passing items back and forth through.


For example, the window might consist of a solid glass or plastic panel with a metal pass-through tray below the bottom edge of the panel. The parties on either side of the window can easily slide things like money or documents through the tray without making physical contact.


You’re most likely to see this type of secure pass-through window where lots of cash transactions are made, such as in banks, currency exchange windows, and other types of financial businesses.


Other less-secure pass-through windows have a hole or an arch in them, often with a removable panel to close it when needed. 


Some windows where larger packages get passed back and forth have a package passer box in addition to a cash tray.


Talk-through windows


Talk-through windows have an additional feature that allows parties on both sides to communicate back and forth more easily. Typically, this means they have a built-in speaker or voice portal at the approximate height of where someone’s mouth is.


You often see talk-through windows used as outdoor transaction windows, such as ticket booths at stadiums or concert venues.


Horizontal sliding transaction windows


Horizontal sliding windows are the least secure for making transactions, which is why you usually only see them used for low-risk transactions. For example, these are what you make your transactions through when you’re at a drive-thru restaurant window.


The main purpose of these horizontal sliding windows is to protect workers on the inside from the elements when not in use, but make it easy and quick to collect money, give change, and pass food to customers when needed.


Don’t Overlook Transaction Window Security


Windows that allow transactions are great, but they can also leave gaps in a building’s security.


If the window glazing is not impact-resistant, it can be an easy entry point for intruders. Or, if it doesn’t provide enough protection for employees inside, they can be an easy target for armed robbery or a violent attack.


This may not matter so much for something like a fast-food restaurant, which is pretty much wide open to the public no matter what, but it’s of concern for high-security facilities, especially where large amounts of cash are handled.


Some factors to consider when choosing a secure window for transactions are:


  • Type of window (what openings/functionality do you need?)
  • What glazing (type of glass or plastic) to use for the window
  • Surrounding framing materials/construction


We already went over the different types of windows you might install for enabling transactions, so let’s take a look now at the next two bullet points on the list above.


Secure transaction window glazing options


In most applications, a window for transactions is not going to have the surrounding structural support to use something like thick, bullet-resistant security glass.


That’s why we recommend using polycarbonate security glazing instead. In sheets as thin as 1/4”, polycarbonate is virtually unbreakable. And, at thicknesses starting at just 3/4”, polycarbonate can be bullet resistant.


These characteristics make polycarbonate glazing the most versatile option for all types of transactional windows.


A polycarbonate window with a pass-through tray for cash and other items is virtually impenetrable to forced entry. With ballistic-grade polycarbonate, a window can withstand ballistic attacks using certain firearms/calibers of bullets, making them ideal for active shooter and armed robbery protection.


For example, a polycarbonate window with a UL 752 level 1 rating can stop 3 shots from a 9mm handgun. This protects people on the inside during the initial attack, allowing them time to react by running away, barricading themselves inside somewhere safe, and calling 911.


Even when riddled with bullets, polycarbonate glazing shields don’t significantly diminish in strength and cannot be easily dislodged or passed through, meaning they continue to deny access to would-be intruders and active shooters.


Security framing for pass-through windows


Of course, a transactional window has to be held in place by some type of framing. If the framing is not adequately designed or is not the right match for the infill, a heavy blow or two from a sledgehammer or another tool can pop the window right out.


So, transaction windows need to be secured in place using some type of robust aluminum security framing. Depending on the type of aluminum used and the exact construction of the framing, this component of the window can also achieve a ballistic resistance rating, or at least a forced entry resistance rating.


Campbell Window Film Offers State-of-the-Art Transactional Windows


We can custom build any type of security window to your exact specifications, using the best American-made materials and our proprietary access denial technology.


Whether you need a containment-grade pass-through window for COVID-19 biosecurity or a ballistic-grade window for high-risk cash transactions, we’ve got you covered. 


Contact us now for information about using our ArmorPlast® polycarbonate windows and aluminum security framing for enabling secure transactions on your property.