Advantages of Using Biometric Time Clocks to ID Employees

Biometric technology is becoming more common in people’s daily lives and they’re starting to see it more in the workplace. Due to the reliability of different types of biometric identification, innovations with technology are improving the employee credentialing process. 

Biometric ID at the time clock provides advantages both for employees and employers. Including a biometric time clock in your portfolio is a profitable reseller opportunity for your company to enhance your system’s functionality and value to your customers. Offering a well-designed biometric time tracking system as an option also contributes to your company’s standing as a leader in bringing the benefits of advanced technologies to workforce management. 

The Basics of Biometric Authentication 

Biometric authentication is the process by which the biometric technology determines if it can verify or identify a person. A biometric system builds its authentication process around a specific physical trait, for example fingerprints, handprints, faces, or retinas.  

Every biometric authentication process has its own design, which varies by the volume and type of data points collected, and the algorithm used to convert the biometric information into a mathematical string. Regardless of the biometric system features, the software has to authenticate the person through either the identification or verification process. 

Identification vs Verification 

The Identification process is when the employee stands in front of the time clock and scans the necessary traits that the clock requires.  This is when  the software goes to work to find a match. Once a template is found, the employee can use the time clock. 

Unlike identification, the verification process adds another layer of employee privacy and protection. This process requires the user to identify themselves to the system through a secondary form of ID, like a swipe card reader or a numbered code. This will allow the system to locate the biometric data string that is associated with the user.  

Once the system has located the correct template with the employee it is then time to do a biometric scan to confirm that the employee at the clock is the same one as saved in the system. When the user is confirmed the employee may then make a punch at the clock.  

Benefits of Using Biometrics as Employee ID Credential 

Automating the collection of employee attendance data is always an enormous step up from manual time tracking. Yet, automating time tracking with biometrics as the employee ID credential delivers a range of quantitative and qualitative advantages to the company. 

Biometric Security Improves Payroll Accuracy 

Card and badge credentials are easy to share, as is an employee’s ID number. Unfortunately, buddy punching is a major source of time theft for companies in the United States, costing employers $373 million annually. 

With a biometric time clock, an employee cannot fraudulently pose as another employee to clock in or out, this prohibits any chance of extending the recorded payable time when the employee isn’t actually present. Labor costs take up enough of the operating budget, no business needs to overpay on their payroll.   

This is why a biometric time clock is the best way to keep labor cost in line and reduce the possibility of employee time theft.  

Lowers Administrative Costs of Employee Credentialing 

Another cost-saving feature of a biometric system is that companies have a far smaller employee credentials program requiring oversight. Some companies may have card and badge credentials to manage, even with a biometric solution, to accommodate employees who opt out of biometric identification 

Even so, the cost difference between managing a credential program for 100 percent of employees and just a small handful can add up. Companies will spend less on buying the badges or cards and have far lower replacement costs as there are fewer cards to lose. A smaller credential program will also save HR staff considerable time and annoyance from having to deactivate and replace lost credentials. 

 Employee Experience is Better with a Biometric Time Clock 

The best advantage for employees is the security knowing that they’ll never show up to work without their employee credentials ever again. Cards and badges are easy to lose. When that happens, it’s a hassle and it’s a bit embarrassing. The worst part is that it could cut hours off the employee’s paycheck. Whether it’s the time it takes to get the new ID instead of clocking in on time, or if the employee has to track time manually for a couple days – both situations increase the likelihood that the employee’s next paycheck will be negatively impacted. 

An employee always has their face or fingerprint, or whatever physical feature is needed, with them. As long as the employee shows up at work, the user can use the biometric time clock. 

Addressing Employee Biometric Privacy Concerns 

Biometric attendance tracking has many advantages, but it comes with one great stumbling block: employees are concerned about their privacy.  It’s a legitimate concern, but a company can address those concerns by selecting the right biometric system and following these key best practices: 

  • Affirmative opt-in: Employers should give employees the choice to opt out of a biometric identification system. Some jurisdictions require it. Companies should understand what local laws apply to employers using biometric technology at work. Regardless of whether local law mandates employees should be given the option, companies always should as a matter of positive good will with their workforce. Each employee’s informed decision should be documented, and companies should make it clear that employees can change their decision at any time.  
  • Detailed biometric data management plan: Employees greatest concern is their biometric security as well as the risk of identity theft. Companies allay those concerns with a strong, detailed biometric data management plan that details where and how the employee data is stored and secured, who has access to it, and what the process is for archiving and permanently deleting it.   
  • Clear, regular communication: None of the other best practices or efforts made to help employees feel comfortable using a biometric time clock at work will matter if those efforts aren’t effectively and regularly communicated to the employees. Two key messages that should be delivered constantly before the biometric solution goes live is that it’s entirely voluntary and no personal information or recognizable biometric data is stored anywhere.

Finding the Right Biometric Attendance Tracking Time Clock for Your Time and Attendance Software 

When looking into integrating your time and attendance software with a biometric identification and attendance system, it’s important to consider the reliability and track record of the vendor. The entire system, the hardware and software, must be designed and optimized to work together to simplify their management and use.  

With a thirty-year history of leading design of time clocks and employee time collection systems with advanced technology, ATS is again front and center with a complete employee attendance data collection system with a biometric option. 

AccuCloud is a cloud-based employee time tracking solution that contains numerous features that make deploying and managing our Only|You™ Facial Recognition System scalable, easy, and profitable. It’s a complete time tracking system that enables you to go to market quickly with a comprehensive solution with biometrics. 

AccuCloud works with our stride®80 time clock, which can be deployed with or without the biometric software installed. No additional hardware is needed as the facial recognition software works directly with the camera built standard in the stride80 time clock. 

The AccuCloud middleware is designed to securely store and distribute biometric templates to the approved time clocks in your customers’ deployments. The largest back-end challenge to implementing and supporting a biometric identification system is management of the templates. 

Our middleware allows your IT team to group time clocks and employees, which makes it easy to distribute or remove any template for any time clock deployed, both individually and en masse. If a number of employees have moved to work at a new location, the IT team only needs to move those employees to the new geographically-defined employee group and their templates will get removed from time clocks at the old location and pushed out to those at the new location. This step enhances company security by ensuring that separated employees aren’t able to clock back in at the work site.  

As noted above, our Only|You facial recognition software lets your customers select whether they want to use the verification or identification authentication process. While our FRS is designed to integrate with our time clock time collection software, it can be easily integrated into your existing time clock collection software if you prefer. 

Contact us to talk to one of our biometric time collection system experts today to learn more about AccuCloud, the benefits of facial recognition as the biometric identification technology, and how they can enhance your solution and product portfolio. 


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