Fingerprint Time Clock | 7 mins read

How Do Fingerprint Time Clocks Work?

how do fingerprint time clocks work
Michelle Jaco

By Michelle Jaco

The growth of biometric technology continues to accelerate as organizations leverage the software for use in device security, mobile-based banking, and employee attendance functions.

Biometrics is used to authenticate identity in both the public and private sectors. In fact, fingerprint scanners are the most commonly used form of biometric technology, enabling businesses to save on resources like time and money.

In 2018 alone, biometric systems earned approximately $22 billion in global sales. This number is a testament to the fact that biometric technology has become indispensable for organizations that value their time and security.

Attendance software enables managers to monitor schedules and workflows when employees sign in and out for work. To add to that, a fingerprint time clock also helps management strengthen workforce administration and mitigate human errors typically associated with traditional attendance systems. With so many perks to this futuristic device, one can only wonder- How does it work?

What is a Fingerprint Time Clock?

Biometric fingerprint time clocks rely on measuring unique physical markers in fingerprints to verify a person's identity against their fingerprint record in the company database. Many businesses also opt for iris scans and facial recognition capabilities for their biometric machines installed in high-security areas.

In this context, an employee time clock enables managers to monitor and record employees' shifts and movements, automatically feeding this data into the timekeeping system.

Businesses need a record of employees' schedules to ensure compliance with regulatory labor law. Biometric clocks enable managers to track employee attendance so that they are paid fairly.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

How a Fingerprint Time Clock Benefits Businesses

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Time clock software helps business owners regulate workplace punctuality and identify employees that are breaking company protocol. That said, this time attendance solution offers more benefits than merely ensuring employees reach work on time. These include-

Curtails Buddy Punching
Business owners are increasingly opting for fingerprint and other biometric attendance machines because these time clocks only allow entry to employees who prove their identity.

This has effectively put a stop to buddy punching practices that were rampant with punch cards. It is when employees who are running late, give their cards to the early birds to punch in for them. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, if only 78 million hourly workers added 15 minutes to a colleague's timesheet, it adds over $373 million to the annual payroll.

That's millions of dollars paid to employees who never even showed up on time. However, since no two fingerprints are the same and there's a fingerprint biometric system in place, employees can only clock in for themselves. Not only does this reduce employee time theft, but it also encourages a healthy sense of punctuality and time management in the workforce.

Increases Savings
Payroll staff that uses the traditional payroll system of punch cards and timesheets is susceptible to error. They may miscalculate overtime wages, or pay the wrong tax rates, causing an inordinate increase in expenses.

They may even let employees get away with overstating their work hours and claim overtime benefits, and the finance department won't have any evidence to negate the case.

Biometric time attendance systems automate punch times and help decrease labor costs and the margin of error.

Consequently, some biometric clock systems come equipped with cloud-based time solutions that streamline HR and workforce management efforts and enhance the efficiency of company time clock systems.

Cloud-Based Integrations
Cloud-based biometric clocks also allow integrations with web-based services where HR managers can upload punch time data and automate the maintenance of employee clock time.

Moreover, HR professionals can create back up databases that make data retrieval more accessible for management and employees alike.

Additionally, these software systems are equipped with the latest security measures that safeguard employee biometric data against theft and misuse. Consequently, fingerprint time clock systems are guarded by strict data privacy laws; keeping their information is under the protection of federal regulation.

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Quick Attendance Tracking
According to a study by the University of Sunderland, 78% of people that were surveyed said they needed to reset their passwords for a single personal account in three months.

With biometric fingerprint time clocks, management can eliminate the need for passwords and PINS so that employees can record their attendance accurately and in a matter of seconds.

What's more, these systems authenticate data instantly so that employers can update their attendance databases in real-time without any hassle.

Automatic Payroll Maintenance
Because biometric clocks automatically record sign-ins in a timekeeping database, payroll clerics can sort out overtime pay and attendance-related bonuses instantly.

Not only do fingerprint time clocks collect accurate data, but they also speed up the process so that supervisors and executives can review and approve timesheets immediately.

An Intuitive Approach
Fingerprint time clocks erase the need for proximity cards and help HR managers cut down on office supplies like faxes, printing ink, and paper. This can help organizations take the initiative towards more sustainable business practices that eliminate the need for paper time cards.

To add to that, adopting and implementing biometric technology can help executives position their organization as a company that is invested in and contributing to greater efficiency in the workplace.

Restrict Employee Access
Another significant benefit of time attendance systems is that they make it possible to restrict employee access to specific departments and offices.

The employee biometric clock can be programmed to allow only certain members of the workforce into high-security areas. It flags employees trying to enter restricted areas, ensuring only authorized personnel can access confidential information.

This also makes it harder for intruders to enter building premises. Here, management can grant and revoke permission at any time, which makes for greater visibility within the organization.

Remote Functionality
Biometric time clocks make it possible for employees to sign in to work using their mobiles from any location. This offers an ideal solution to organizations with employees who are always on-the-go.

Whether they're making deliveries or driving to a clients' home to provide services employees can clock-in en route. Management can track an employee's time on the job and ensure they're not slugging away just because HR isn't there to monitor them.

Since it integrates well with mobile devices, a biometric clock allows employers to monitor workers while they are working remotely, even if they're halfway across the world.

How Does a Fingerprint Time Clock Work?

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A biometric fingerprint time clock uses a scanner to match an employee's fingerprint to intersections and endpoints of the fingerprints in its internal database. It uses this to clock them in (and out) of their shifts, while also keeping tabs on office areas they've accessed.

These fingerprint clocks are also capable of registering sign-ins in any weather climate and do not require additional cooling to function correctly. These devices can capture wet, oily, and even dirty fingerprints and recognize if they are an exact match to the records.

Moreover, fingerprint time clocks are capable of registering and storing anywhere between 100 to 10,000 fingerprints, and some can even take a picture of the employee along with the prints for additional verification.

Other features of these machines include-

Automatic Data Capturing
Making payrolls and tallying attendance information manually can take several days with traditional methods.

With an employee fingerprint clock, it's possible to make and finalize payroll of hundreds of employees in a few hours. Employers can simply download data from the biometric system into a USB hard disk and send it to the relevant department for processing.

Quick Response Rate
Time clock systems enhance the efficiency of employee punch-ins while also ensuring glitch-free admission to relevant areas.

Portability
Most biometric time attendance solutions are small and compact and can be installed anywhere in the workplace, which helps to declutter the office.

Intuitive Interface
Fingerprint time clocks don't require software operation, which means they also need very little training.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

How Does a Fingerprint Time Clock Differ from Punch Cards?

Other options such as proximity cards, time cards, or even swipe cards simply do not measure up to fingerprint time clocks, in terms of maintenance, recording time, and exporting data.

Moreover, these attendance recording methods have a minimal scope in terms of data collection and accessibility.

In terms of security, the fingerprint time clock is often misjudged for being easy for third-parties groups and government agencies to hack into. However, that is far from the truth; biometric clock software is only used to track attendance and time, as well as provide employees access to restricted areas. Who accesses this information is usually left at the discretion of the bosses.

However, employers can't store personal information of their workers, like their social security number and credit information on the attendance system. In the unlikelihood that the system is hacked, there is no information to steal.

Tallying hours worked is essential, but these attendance systems do so much more. Some other ways biometric scanners can help with employee morale and timeliness include-

  • Track meals and breaks
  • Eliminate missed punch notifications
  • Receive automatic overtime alerts
  • PTO accrual tracking
  • Intelligent prompts
  • Customize compliance settings

Compliance with Biometric Data Laws

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Before deploying biometric solutions across the workplace, businesses must ensure that they comply with the relevant laws. They must identify rules that apply to their workplace and the exact compliance measures they require.

Once executives have this information, it becomes easy to inventory the data collected through the software and define what classifies as biometric information. Here, management would be wise to outline how the software compiles information, where it is stored, and whether it is disclosed or not.

Employers can ensure successful adoption rates for this new technology by working to gain consent from all stakeholders, but especially the employees. Here, having a comprehensive compliance program in place can help to ensure agreement with all areas of the law.

However, this may also require obtaining an employee's written consent before gathering their biometric data (as in the State of Illinois). HR professionals should create policies for employee data collection and the purpose of it within the organization; insurance policies should also provide coverage for claims issued under biometric privacy laws.

Companies also need to ensure that any government officials or third-party agencies they share data with like payroll firms also comply with applicable laws.

Large scale organizations operating in multiple states (and even globally) should consider data privacy laws in each of these locations before they install fingerprint time clocks. Policies that unify requirements across different jurisdictions are the best approach to implementing a successful system in place.

Biometrics Technology and its Impact

Biometric fingerprint time clocks are improving the quality and efficiency of attendance tracking systems in workplaces across the world.

Other time attendance methods may be low-cost, but they are also easy to duplicate and increase the risks of unauthorized entry and data misuse. On the other hand, biometric systems are considered one of the most reliable data protection methods and infinitely more convenient as well.

Global organizations are adopting this technology in high numbers and already experiencing a reduction in overt and covert labor costs.

In conclusion, businesses can benefit from adopting and implementing biometric fingerprint time clocks and ease up responsibilities for HR and Finance departments. It is vital that organizations secure this data and safeguard it against misuse and ensure compliance with federal and state data regulations and privacy laws.

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