Facial Recognition vs Fingerprint Scanners for Time & Attendance

Joel Jensen

21 February 2019    |   

The last 10 years have been an exciting time for businesses. The growth and adoption of cloud technology have presented huge opportunities for business optimisation and increased profits. One of the most popular categories has been the adoption of Workforce Software. This type of software has been used to manage shifts, monitor staff, and ensure timely, accurate pay. This makes sense when we think about it. Employees are your most valuable business assets, but are also one of, if not your largest, cost centres. Naturally, businesses have attempted to optimise this cost by adding oversight and controls to their wage spending. But there are still lots of businesses who use paper to handle their rostering, timesheets and award interpretation. This was always to be expected as many businesses are hesitant to change what they know. Perhaps more surprising, however, is the persistence of old technology. They predate cloud technology and bearing many downsides that continue to hurt businesses. About a year and a half ago we wrote an article about why fingerprint scanners don’t work for time and attendance, and we preferred to use employee timeclocks. It turned out to be one of our most popular articles, presumably due to the number of people still using old technology and experiencing the frustrations that come with it. This week we released our completely new, rebuilt Time Clock App. It has a bunch of cool new features like facial detection, facial recognition, multiple breaks, predictive shift status, and more. We thought it might be worth an update on the downsides of fingerprint scanners and how using modern technology solves these problems. Check out the three biggest problems with fingerprint scanners below. Tanda uses facial recognition technology to ensure accurate clock ins and outs They’re expensive The issue is that fingerprint scanners are expensive pieces of hardware. Just one reliable fingerprint sensor can set you back by several hundreds of dollars. Imagine what that means for those managing hundreds of staff across multiple locations. Installation is also costly and allows little flexibility. Because of these large upfront costs, and the fact that they do little else than record fingerprints, these scanners have become an impractical investment.  Conversely, Tanda’s Time Clock app can run on any tablet device. Most of our clients run the app on a tablet worth less than $200. They’re unreliable As anyone who has used one knows, even the best fingerprint scanners don’t work 100% of the time. To solve this problem, businesses usually keep a paper timesheet below the scanner. This is fine at face value, but what employers quickly realise is that if it doesn’t work 100% of the time, it doesn’t work at all. It becomes far too easy for an employee to be running 5 minutes late, use the paper timesheet, and say “sorry, the fingerprint scanner wasn’t working”. Using a time clock means 100% of clock ins are recorded, even if your internet is down and it goes offline. It will store all data and send it as soon as you get back online. Maintenance is difficult/costly Due to the nature of the hardware, it requires a trained technician whenever there is an issue. Often, it works out cheaper to replace than repair. This presents a new problem because the devices aren’t always readily available. Compare this to a timeclock which can be ‘repaired’ more easily, at no cost, and remotely, because you’re working with cloud software. When the hardware needs replacing, it’s cheap, easily accessible, and requires no downtime. There’s something wrong when you spend more time fixing, maintaining or administering the workforce software you bought instead of working on improving the business you bought it for. Using a modern solution like a timeclock solves the problems presented by legacy software. It’s less costly, more reliable, and far more efficient. It lets your managers spend less time on admin, and more time on the frontline, training staff and engaging customers. Empower your workforce and increase your chances of business success by shifting to cloud-based workforce software today.

The last 10 years have been an exciting time for businesses. The growth and adoption of cloud technology have presented huge opportunities for business optimisation and increased profits. One of the most popular categories has been the adoption of Workforce Software. This type of software has been used to manage shifts, monitor staff, and ensure timely, accurate pay. This makes sense when we think about it. Employees are your most valuable business assets, but are also one of, if not your largest, cost centres.

Naturally, businesses have attempted to optimise this cost by adding oversight and controls to their wage spending. But there are still lots of businesses who use paper to handle their rostering, timesheets and award interpretation. This was always to be expected as many businesses are hesitant to change what they know. Perhaps more surprising, however, is the persistence of old technology. They predate cloud technology and bearing many downsides that continue to hurt businesses.

About a year and a half ago we wrote an article about why fingerprint scanners don’t work for time and attendance, and we preferred to use employee timeclocks. It turned out to be one of our most popular articles, presumably due to the number of people still using old technology and experiencing the frustrations that come with it.

This week we released our completely new, rebuilt Time Clock App. It has a bunch of cool new features like facial detection, facial recognition, multiple breaks, predictive shift status, and more. We thought it might be worth an update on the downsides of fingerprint scanners and how using modern technology solves these problems. Check out the three biggest problems with fingerprint scanners below.

tanda-facial-recognition
Tanda uses facial recognition technology to ensure accurate clock ins and outs

They’re expensive

The issue is that fingerprint scanners are expensive pieces of hardware. Just one reliable fingerprint sensor can set you back by several hundreds of dollars. Imagine what that means for those managing hundreds of staff across multiple locations. Installation is also costly and allows little flexibility. Because of these large upfront costs, and the fact that they do little else than record fingerprints, these scanners have become an impractical investment.  Conversely, Tanda’s Time Clock app can run on any tablet device. Most of our clients run the app on a tablet worth less than $200.

They’re unreliable

As anyone who has used one knows, even the best fingerprint scanners don’t work 100% of the time. To solve this problem, businesses usually keep a paper timesheet below the scanner. This is fine at face value, but what employers quickly realise is that if it doesn’t work 100% of the time, it doesn’t work at all. It becomes far too easy for an employee to be running 5 minutes late, use the paper timesheet, and say “sorry, the fingerprint scanner wasn’t working”. Using a time clock means 100% of clock ins are recorded, even if your internet is down and it goes offline. It will store all data and send it as soon as you get back online.

Maintenance is difficult/costly

Due to the nature of the hardware, it requires a trained technician whenever there is an issue. Often, it works out cheaper to replace than repair. This presents a new problem because the devices aren’t always readily available. Compare this to a timeclock which can be ‘repaired’ more easily, at no cost, and remotely, because you’re working with cloud software. When the hardware needs replacing, it’s cheap, easily accessible, and requires no downtime.

There’s something wrong when you spend more time fixing, maintaining or administering the workforce software you bought instead of working on improving the business you bought it for. Using a modern solution like a timeclock solves the problems presented by legacy software. It’s less costly, more reliable, and far more efficient. It lets your managers spend less time on admin, and more time on the frontline, training staff and engaging customers. Empower your workforce and increase your chances of business success by shifting to cloud-based workforce software today.

Related Posts

Product Updates    |   

Introducing the New Tanda Time Clock App!

We are very excited to announce that a brand new Time clock app is here, packed with new features, more stability and a much more user-friendly design. The Time clock is a core part of Tanda and it is key to making sure you can accurately track your staff attendance. Tanda’s Time Clock app live streams employee clock ins, making it easy to track employee time and attendance. All data is stored in the system, and transferred automatically to timesheets, so you’ve always got a record of when staff are working. Since we first released the Time clock app, we have received feedback for improvements and new feature ideas! We have taken all of this feedback on-board and built a brand new app that we know you will love. What’s new? A refreshed modern design A simple and intuitive interface More guidance for users Now works on iPads Current and upcoming shift information displayed upon clock-in / out Staff can submit leave and unavailability right through the app (optional feature) Download the Time Clock app   Visit the Time Clock page for more information.

Industry Insights    |   

Why Fingerprint Scanners Don’t Work for Time and Attendance

The ability to quickly identify and verify individuals has been a crucial skill in human society, since the start of civilisation. Where previously face-to-face recognition would have sufficed in tribes and small villages, thanks to today’s rapidly growing global population we require more tools to quickly identify who someone is. In the workplace, the need to identify individuals is particularly important, as it’s often tied to staff attendance, payroll, and workplace security. Throughout the years, various solutions have been used to verify staff attendance from paper time sheets, to the Bundy Clock, to fingerprint and biometric scanners. Despite the best efforts of some die-hard fans, the fingerprint scanner has reached its limit, being surpassed by the electronic time clock. With so many other solutions available at our fingertips, why are some people so desperately clinging to their fingerprint scanner? Surely we’ve all seen enough spy movies to know fingerprint scanners aren’t foolproof, let alone feasible in today’s day and age where most of the fun comes from trying to fool the system. And yet, it’s something that we still occasionally hear, “why don’t you have fingerprint scanners?” So to put the debate to rest once and for all, here are three reasons why fingerprint scanners don’t work. And before you start saying, ‘but what about this…” here are three great reasons why the electronic time clock has surpassed the fingerprint scanner. 3 reasons why fingerprint scanners don’t work to track staff attendance They’re expensive. No matter which way you look at it, fingerprint scanners are expensive equipment. Despite the fact that the technology has been around for years, the cost of the device still remains relatively high, potentially setting you back a few thousand dollars. In addition to the device, the cost of the integration between the scanner and the corresponding system can be expensive to build. The scanners are delicate and aren’t always built to handle the hundreds of fingerprints pressed onto them throughout their lifetime. Which brings me to my next point… They’re unreliable. Unlike your favourite FBI crime-show encryption-grade biometric scanners, workplace fingerprint scanners are notoriously unreliable. In order to correctly identify and record an individual, fingerprint scanners require a clear image or impression of your fingerprint. Fingers that are dirty, greasy, cold or wet for example, often don’t register on the scanner, making it hard to both clock out and verify the individual. Employers who prefer to use fingerprint scanners, do so because they think it’s easier than remembering a passcode. However should the fingerprint scanner fail to register the scan, some systems will request a passcode. Not only is this an additional hassle to staff who are trying simply to clock in or out, but it also opens the window to time theft through buddy clocking. Maintenance is a pain. As previously mentioned, fingerprint scanners are not cheap. They’re a costly purchase and are even more expensive to repair or replace when they wear out. Repairing a broken scanner requires a specialised technician and often costly parts. On the occasion that it is easier to replace than repair, users often run into more problems as they are not readily available at your local JB Hi-Fi or electronics outlet. On top of this, users often experience issues around the device’s durability, which lead to additional maintenance costs and ultimately a new device down the track. Introducing the 21st Century solution Electronic time clocks are the most robust, user-friendly, and affordable solution to record staff attendance. According to Statista, 38.59 million British people were expected to own a tablet device back in 2017. In 2018, an average of 80% of UK’s population already owns smart devices. Leveraging this statistic, a tablet-based time clock like Tanda can provide an effective and consistent solution to time theft, streamlining your entire payroll process. 3 reasons why electronic time clocks are the market leading solution: Affordability. Tablets in their various forms have started to become more commonplace in businesses of all sizes. This is thanks to more core business functions such as POS, inventory, and payment processing, becoming available on tablet devices. This technology is providing business owners with greater mobility to engage with customers, as well as streamlining core business activities in one device. Time Clock tablets are easily accessible, affordable and present a number of additional benefits to a business looking to improve their customer offering. Robust and reliable. Thanks to the prevalence of tablet usage, most people are familiar with how to use a tablet and how they should be treated. Tablets are touch-screen based and as such built to handle lots of little fingers pushing and tapping the screen. Tanda’s Time Clock verifies staff attendance through photos and PIN code verification. Which means that unlike a fingerprint scanner, it doesn’t matter if staff have dirty or wet fingers, they’ll still be able to clock out the first time around. The timestamp and photo verification also make it quick and easy for managers and business owners to quickly check that the right person has clocked in and out for the correct shift. Cloud-based for more options. Using a cloud-based Time Clock solution like Tanda provides users with more options, which enable rather than restrict the user. Software maintenance and upgrades are not required, as they’re done automatically in the system. Devices are easy to replace and interchangeable, and should the system connection be disrupted, all clock in data is stored locally and uploaded to the cloud later. In addition to this, as a backup, users can access the Time Clock app through a browser on a desktop. Using a cloud solution to track staff attendance provides unparalleled opportunities to streamline additional business administration tasks, as well as providing greater insight into labour costs, staff punctuality, and staff engagement. Workplaces are busy places, and managers have much better things to spend their time on than trying to get the fingerprint scanner to work. Using electronic Time Clocks to track employee attendance allows staff to clock in quickly and efficiently, so that they can get out of the backroom and working in your business. Because at the end of the day, you need a system that is affordable, reliable, and accessible, so that you can get on with paying staff and focusing on your business.   Curious to know more about a Cloud-based device that can help you track time and attendance better? Book your FREE demo with Tanda today.

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About the author

Joel Jensen

Customer Success: Joel brings a passion for technology and excellent customer service to his role as Customer Experience Manager, helping customers to invest in their workforce success.

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Product Updates

Introducing the New Tanda Time Clock App!

We are very excited to announce that a brand new Time clock app is here, packed with new features, more stability and a much more user-friendly design. The Time clock is a core part of Tanda and it is key to making sure you can accurately track your staff attendance. Tanda’s Time Clock app live […]

Industry Insights

Why Fingerprint Scanners Don’t Work for Time and Attendance

The ability to quickly identify and verify individuals has been a crucial skill in human society, since the start of civilisation. Where previously face-to-face recognition would have sufficed in tribes and small villages, thanks to today’s rapidly growing global population we require more tools to quickly identify who someone is. In the workplace, the need […]

More Resources

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