Biometric time clocks identify employees based on their unique traits such as fingerprints and are part of a company’s employee tracking system. These clocking terminals use detailed measurements of the fingerprints as a means of verifying the identity of the employee clocking into work from amongst the records that are stored in the clocking terminal. It is an alternative to using a RFID clocking or password based system. Although it functions the same as a regular time clock, it provides the important advantage of preventing employees clocking in for each other. As employees need to be physically present to clock in attendance, this system eliminates any chances of buddy punching and time theft.
These biometric clocks are like invisible time keepers with the ability to record employee time and attendance to-the-minute and accurately. In addition to eliminating buddy punching, another important advantage is that they prove extremely useful in preventing security breaches in employee-only areas. Employees are required to simply punch in and out with their fingerprints. The biometric clock then compares this fingerprint with the templates stored in the database. Only when there is a match, the individual is granted access. Since it is impossible to forge the fingerprint data from these clocks, persons whose prints are not in the system will not be able to access the employee-only areas.
How biometric time and attendance systems work
Biometric time clocks depend on an electronic sensor to capture a digital image of the employee’s fingerprint pattern. When employees approach the entrance of their office, they simply swipe their fingerprint on the scanner. The terminal captures the image and converts it into a numeric code that represents the relative positions of the key features of the fingerprint. The clocking terminal stores these numbers for each employee but they cannot be used to regenerate the original fingerprint image of the employees. This implies that the privacy of users is protected.
The employee’s fingerprints are then compared against a central database of stored templates. If there is a match, the employee’s attendance gets recorded and data is synced with the attendance server. This process is very fast and it takes only between 1 to 5 seconds. In addition to giving accurate data records, this system can also easily reject an unauthorized individual within no time. These clocks can also be used for access control installations on the door at the entrance of the office building. They can be used to provide enhanced security for the business and other employees as they allow only verified staff to enter the office premises and other secured areas. They are better than swipe cards as fingerprints cannot be shared or stolen neither they can be forged. Also, the cost of purchasing and magnetic swipe cards that are unable to prevent fraudulent access to restricted areas is also eliminated with the use of biometric time clocks.
The electro-magnetic door at the office entrance can be configured to work with the time clock. The door will automatically open only for those users whose fingerprints match with the stored templates otherwise access will be denied. It is important to mention that neither the clocking terminal nor the attendance software ever stores the images of the employee’s fingerprints.
What are the initial requirements for deploying a fingerprint time clock?
To start using a biometric clocking device in an organization, the biometric details of all employees must first be registered on the device. The employee has to present his or her hand to the terminal for two or more times so that the unique details of the fingerprints can be recorded. These key details of the employee’s biometric profile are stored as a template on the device.
After the employees templates have been recorded and stored, they can start using the system to clock in and out of work. These clocking terminals can be used in two ways. The first mode is identification in which the individual’s identity is determined by comparing the scanned fingerprint against the database of stored templates and is essentially a one-to-many comparison. The second way is verification in which a one-to-one comparison is performed between the measured biometric and the stored template of a particular person.
Additional benefits of deploying a biometric time clock
There are several benefits of implementing these time clocks as they eliminate the need for multiple passwords or swipe cards thereby saving time and money for the organization. These clocks can be used as the sole means of registering attendance and employees are freed from the hassle of having to carry their swipe cards or remember their passwords.
Furthermore, the employee time management process can be streamlined by linking this clock to existing human resource and payroll software systems. By linking the attendance server to the human resource and payroll department, the practice of manually keeping time and attendance records is eliminated. It is a known fact that manual reconciliation of employee time-sheets is error prone, time consuming and also increases staffing overhead.
However, the attendance data that is collected by these time clocks are automated and highly reliable. This data can be extracted from the attendance server and directly sent to payroll. This not only helps to save a lot of time but also boosts the productivity of finance and payroll processing by providing error free and timely data. With accurate data, organizations can control labor cost by reducing over payments. The human resource department does not need to separately calculate vacation, extra work hours and sick leaves. Thus the deployment of a biometric time clock eliminates payroll and other administrative costs that occur due to the errors made in manual payroll calculation.