More and more companies are having that time management problem that no company wants – buddy punching. What is buddy punching? Simply put, having your buddy clock you in, even when you’re not there. This usually happens when an employee knows they’re running late, so they will give a call to their “buddy”, who then clocks them in so their pay won’t be affected. The more extreme cases would be an employee punching an employee in, and the employee NEVER shows up that day. This can cause a company to lose money EVERY MINUTE this occurs. How do you stop it? Biometrics. What are biometrics? In this article I will explain biometrics and how they can interact with your time and attendance software.

What are biometrics?

Biometrics are devices that identify people by one or more physical characteristics. This process is automatic, and could involve a fingerprint scan, eye scan, hand scan, or even voice recognition. Biometrics are important in Time and Attendance software, since it would be very difficult for one employee to clock in and out on behalf of another (except for the James Bond/Spy Movies). The most commonly used biometrics are Fingerprint Scans, which we will talk about later in this article.

Biometric Identification vs. Biometric Verification – What is that?

If you have been shopping around for a biometric system for your time and attendance software, you have probably come across these terms. If you haven’t, this should be one of the questions you asked when purchasing since it deals with how hard your database has to work. There are two different ways a record is compared to a database, by identification or by verification.

Biometric identification compares a biometric signature (in this case, a fingerprint) to all the records stored in a database, to determine if a match was found. The problem is that because the entire database has to be compared for a match, it can slow your system down if the database is large. This wouldn’t be good for real-time applications such as access control or time and attendance software. This is the type of biometrics that law enforcement applications use, for example, the comparison of a fingerprint from a crime scene to a database of prints collected from convicted criminals.

Biometric verification is what many time and attendance software applications have used. This involves comparing a newly-scanned biometric signature (fingerprint) to a measurement previously collected from the same person to verify that individual’s identity. For example, in our SmartSuite software, you can assign a badge ID to each person, which would be used to identify a fingerprint template. When an employee clocks in, their fingerprint will be compared to their fingerprint that was enrolled in the company’s system. If it is a match, then the employee’s punch will be recorded.

Because of this one-to-one comparison, this system of biometrics is much faster than biometric identification systems. If you have a real-time application, such as TimeKron, you would want this type of biometric system.

Understanding Fingerprint Biometrics

You may be familiar with Fingerprint Biometrics, but how do they work? When an employee enrolls in a Fingerprint-based biometric time and attendance system for the first time, the software records a template of the employee’s fingerprint and associates that template with the employee’s ID number. This template measures the relationship between various points in the fingerprint.

Each time the employee clocks in or out, the time and attendance software verifies that the newly scanned fingerprint matches the fingerprint on file with that employee’s ID number. If there is a match, the punch is recorded. Some employees will have concerns with privacy about their fingerprint being scanned. The biometric system that TimeKron uses never stores the fingerprint, only the location of certain data points on the fingerprint. Fingerprint biometric readers have a lower cost than other biometric readers, making them economical.Other benefits include low maintenance and no lost badges/cards, which means less hassle for your company.

If you are a company having problems with buddy punching, or you just want to increase your security, I suggest that you look into purchasing a biometric system. If you are an existing customer of Bioenable, you can purchase a biometric system directly from us. The fingerprint-based biometric system is easy to use, easy to setup, and easy on your budget. Call us at 1800-209-2131(From India Only) to find out more information on biometrics or click here.