Why use a Fingerprint Biometric Time Clock?

Biometric employee time management solutions such as fingerprint time clocks are on the rise for many reasons. These specialized timekeeping devices help manage access, eliminate time theft, improve business security, and make clocking in fast and efficient. Here, we’ll be taking a look at all of these benefits, as well as how these systems were developed and how biometric time clocks work.

What is a Biometric Time Clock?

Biometric time clocks are tools for tracking and managing hourly wages. Biometric clocking systems work by measuring some unique aspect of an employee (such as the minutia points on their finger, or the pattern of their iris) and using those measurements to verify the employee. Biometric fingerprint identification takes the place of traditional verification methods, such as using a PIN or employee ID badge.

Are Biometric Time Clocks Easy to Set Up and Use?

Biometric time clocks are very easy to set up and use. Although some might expect that advanced biometric time clocks might be difficult to operate, nothing could be further from the truth.

Biometric Employee Enrollment

Acumen's GT450 time clock offers an efficient biometric fingerprint scanner to make clocking in fast and secure.

Acumen’s GT450 time clock offers an efficient biometric fingerprint scanner to make clocking in fast and secure.

Enrolling employees in a biometric system is as easy as following 5 simple steps. For an example, we’ll follow along using Acumen’s GT450 time clock. This is a fully featured model with accurate and reliable biometric options like the fingerprint scanner featured here.

  1. Log in to the time clock as a supervisor.
  2. Select “Profiles” and enter the identification number for the employee you want to enroll .
  3. Select “Biometric” and then select “Enroll”.
  4. Have the employee place their finger on the fingerprint scanner.
  5. Confirm the fingerprint scan.

And that’s all you need to do. The clock will take that scan and produce a biometric profile for the employee automatically. This profile will be used to clock that employee in when they press their finger to the scanner.

Ease of Use

Finger scanning time clocks are far faster and easier to use than traditional time clock systems. No special technical knowledge is required to operate a biometric time clock, which means that an employee in any field with any level of technical prowess can quickly learn how to clock in and out with a biometric system.

In most configurations clocking in or out is as simple as pressing a single button and scanning an employee’s finger. Not having to remember and manually punch in credentials or swipe an employee ID badge expedites the punch-in process. This saves time and increases employee productivity while also preventing common errors that occur with traditional time clock systems.

Acumen’s biometric time clocks were designed to make them as easy as possible for employees to use. Overall, the amount of difficulty involved in using the biometric time clocks is very limited and the high configurability allows for businesses to customize the experience to cater to their needs.

Biometric time clocks, even with their impressive security, are far easier to use than traditional time clocks.

What can a Biometric Time Clock Do for Your Business?

Biometric time clocks, such as Acumen’s GT 450, use proven biometric technology to provide an unparalleled time and attendance solution. The benefits of biometric time clocks can be broken down into four categories:

  1. Controlling Workplace Access
  2. Eliminating Time Theft
  3. Improving Business Security
  4. Increasing Employee Efficiency

As we explore each of these benefits in further detail, you will be able to see the clear advantages biometric systems have over traditional time and attendance systems in each of these categories.

Controlling Workplace Access

Biometric time clocks offer a quality of workplace access control that is impossible to achieve using other technology. If you’re planning to pair access control with your employee and attendance solution, biometric time clocks are the perfect fit. With the press of a a single finger, an employee can confirm their identity, clock in for work, and open the door. Biometric time clocks can be configured by your business to only allow certain employees into certain rooms. This sort of solution is ideal for businesses that value efficiency and ensures your employees are at the right place at the right time.

Eliminating Time Theft

Traditional time clocks are easy for employees to abuse, intentionally or by mistake. Biometric time clocks prevent “buddy-punching” (where one employee uses the PIN or ID card of another employee to clock them in when they aren’t working) by requiring any employee clocking in or out to be physically authenticated by the time clock. Additionally, these clocks make it easier for employees to clock in and out, in some configurations only requiring the press of a finger, to less employee time and company time are spent clocking in or out for a shift or a break.

Improving Business Security

There is no greater security than immediate physical security, and there is no better way to ensure that physical security than biometric authorization. As well as being the best option for controlled access and employee authentication, biometric time clocks ensure your business remains secure. Biometric technology can keep your customers out of spaces designated for employees, track employee movement, and even prevent trespassing and theft. If your business uses biometric security measures, your employees and goods are safe at all times. While a lock key, access code, or security card could be stolen or misused, biometric time clocks can not be bypassed this way. The use of these devices is logged and recorded, so you will know exactly who is using any device, any time it is used.

Increasing Employee Efficiency

Biometric time and attendance systems vastly improve employee efficiency compared to traditional time clocks. These systems are easy to set up, easy to use for your employees and managers, and save your business time and money. Biometric time clocks work best with automated time and attendance software to minimize employee error and increase individual efficiency. The less time your company spends verifying time card punches and employee work, the more money you save. In addition, because biometric systems are reliable and easy to use, your employees will save time clocking in and out and be able to focus more on their work.

How were Biometric Time Clocks Developed?

People have used unique physical qualities to identify each other for thousands of years, but it was not until the 1970’s that biometric devices became commercially available.

With a significant push from the U.S. government to automate the time consuming work of comparing fingerprint cards by hand, technology that automated biometric verification flourished.

Throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s, a number of groundbreaking patents were awarded for methods for identifying people by their hand shapes, vascular patterns, iris patterns, and face shapes. Later developments led to the standardization of protocols for matching fingerprint minutia points and other unique personal measurements.

While biometric technology originated as a tool for law enforcement, over time, it became specialized for personal identification, access control, and workforce time and attendance. Some of the most popular techniques for biometric time and attendance include fingerprint minutia scanning, iris pattern matching, and face recognition.

Today, biometric time clock systems are seen as the industry standard because of their reliability and clear advantages over traditional employee time clocks.

How Secure are Biometric Time Clocks?

Biometric systems are far more secure than traditional pin or employee ID card systems. Inherently, a biometric system eliminates the possibility of clocking in or out for another employee by ensuring that each employee is only able to punch in and out using their own fingerprint. If an employee would be behind schedule or absent, another employee can not fraudulently clock them in. This same technology prevents employees from swapping shifts without a supervisor’s approval and ensures accountability for employees arriving late or clocking out early.

Acumen’s biometric systems were designed with user privacy in mind. The technology utilized by these biometric systems cannot be used for any purposes other than time and attendance or access control. Fingerprint scans are discarded immediately after they are used for

employee enrollment, and biometric templates are anonymized and tied exclusively to employee reference numbers. No personal information is ever saved in the system, so there is no risk of sensitive information being compromised.

Your business can be certain that Acumen provides the highest level of privacy and security with its biometric time clock solutions.

How Does a Fingerprint Time Clock Work?

When the system is set up, employees using the biometric system are enrolled by scanning their fingerprints. Using this scan, the system identifies sections of the fingerprint where ridges and grooves intersect or terminate. The product of this enrollment process is an employee’s biometric template. Once the biometric template has been created, the original scan of the employee’s fingerprint is discarded, and only the template is saved for future reference.

This enrollment process is detailed in the following diagram:

How a Fingerprint Biometric Time Clock Works: Step 1 How a Fingerprint Biometric Time Clock Works: Step 2 How a Fingerprint Biometric Time Clock Works: Step 3
First, an employee’s fingerprint is scanned into the system. Next, the system identifies intersections and terminations. Finally, an employee’s unique biometric template is created.

When an employee uses a biometric time clock, their fingerprint is quickly scanned and cross-referenced with the biometric templates that are saved in the system. If there is a match between the fingerprint and the template, the system accurately identifies the employee and allows them to clock in or out. If there is not a match between the fingerprint and any template in the system, access to the time clock is denied.

Experts in Timekeeping and Employee Scheduling 

Acumen Data Systems is a leading provider of time clock and employee scheduling software. We help organizations manage their most valuable resources, the human kind. Acumen offers robust solutions for time and attendance, scheduling and leave management. 

We believe that technology is just one quarter of the workforce management pie. Employees, policy, and the environment are just as important. 

Do you have questions about our biometric time and attendance solutions? 

Contact one of our experts to discuss the best timekeeping solutions for your organization.  You can also reach us at 888-816-0933.