The Biometric Time Clock: Everything You Need to Know (with examples)

biometric time clock

A biometric time clock helps employers by offering a quick and accurate way to clock in and out. 

So, what makes biometric time clocks better than other methods like manual punch cards?

Picture this: the Department of Labor comes knocking. They want to audit your employee’s time cards, and you have no physical proof that it was truly the employee that punched in/out. 

That could cause a real problem, for which biometrics is the solution! 

With that said, there are still a lot of questions surrounding biometric time clocks, and our goal is to address them.

Questions like:

What is a Biometric Time Clock?

Who needs it?

What are the types of Biometric Time Clocks?

What is the Best Biometric Time Clock?

How do Biometric Time Clocks Prevent Employee Time Theft?

How accurate are Biometric Time Clocks?

Are Biometric Time Clocks legal?

Do Biometric Time Clocks work if you lose power?

How much do Biometric Time Clocks Cost?

How do Biometric Time Clocks store data? 

What is a Biometric Time Clock?

A Biometric time clock is a piece of time clock hardware that uses your employees biometrics, or physical characteristics, to identify them and allow them to clock in and out for work. Common biometric time clocks include finger readers and face readers. 

These systems work by scanning your employees biometric data and comparing it to the information stored in the database. Once your employee is authenticated, their clock in/out time will be posted to their time card. And the collected data can then be used for payroll, attendance tracking, and other administrative tasks. 

The advantages of biometric time clocks are that they provide a more secure environment for punching in/out and can reduce fraud, eliminate time theft, improve attendance, and save business owners money. 

Who needs it? 

Biometric time clocks are for companies looking to provide an honest and secure way of tracking hours worked. 

And biometric time clocks can offer several other benefits that include: 

  • Increased accuracy – By using a biometric time clock to track employee hours, businesses can reduce mistakes and improve the accuracy of their payroll records. 

  • Enhanced productivity – Since employees do not need to remember or carry around access cards or passwords, biometric time clocks can help improve the speed and accuracy of clocking in and out of work.

  • Reduced costs – By eliminating manual processes such as paper time sheets or timesheets that must be filled out by hand, biometric time clocks can help reduce administrative costs. 

  • Easy Audits – From the Department of Labor’s perspective, biometric time clocks are invaluable in ensuring true records. Not only do employees have to physically be present for their time to be recorded, but if ever challenged by a DOL audit, time records generated using a biometric device provide the best records available. 

What are the Types of Biometric Time Clocks? 

There are several types of biometric time clocks. 

These include: 

• Finger Reader – This type of time clock scans the shape of a person’s finger, which is then compared against data stored in the system. 

• Face Reader – A facial recognition system uses multiple cameras to capture a three dimensional image of your employees’ face, which is then compared against stored images. 

• Combo Face and Finger Reader – This is a combination of facial recognition and finger scanning technology. 

Biometric time clocks offer a secure and efficient way to track employee attendance and ensure accurate payroll information. By using these types of systems, businesses can reduce manual data entry errors and improve the accuracy of their payroll records. Knowing what type of biometric time clock is best suited to your needs will ensure you get the most from this technology. 

What’s the Best Type of Biometric Time Clock for You?

Biometric time clocks are becoming increasingly popular in the workplace. They provide a secure, reliable, and accurate way to track employee hours and attendance. But with many different types of biometric time clocks on the market, it can be difficult to choose which one is best for your business.

To help you make a well-informed decision, let’s review the pros and cons of each type of clock so that you can select the one best suited to your needs.

What is the Finger Reader?

biometric time clock finger reader

The finger reader, or fingerprint time clock, is the “entry level” type of biometric time clock. It reads the unique shape of a person’s finger. The clock then compares the unique shape with the stored fingerprint in its database, therefore eliminating “buddy punching”. 

How Does the Finger Reader Work?

The finger reader is a type of biometric time clock that requires employees to enroll their fingerprint for it to recognize them. This is done by having an administrator set up each employee in the system and scanning their finger on the clock’s built-in scanner. When the employee places their finger on the clock, it will scan their finger and compare the unique shape to the stored fingerprints in its database. If there are enough similarities their attendance will be logged.

The finger reader is designed to prevent “buddy punching,” as it requires each employee to be physically present to clock in/out. 

How Does the Finger Reader Compare to Other Biometric Clocks?

The finger reader is the low cost entry point for Biometric Time Clocks. 

The biggest drawback to the finger reader is that employees are smart and learn that if they put the wrong finger on the scanner, it won’t clock them in/out. 

Why would an employee do this?
Because if they’re late to work and don’t want to get docked, sometimes they prefer to have a missing punch, so they can tell their employer that they arrived on time. 

What is the Face Reader?


biometric time clock face reader

The face reader is a type of biometric time clock that uses facial recognition technology to identify employees. It works by using cameras and artificial intelligence (AI) to scan a person’s face, then compares it against pre-stored data points in its database. If the image matches one stored in the database, the employee is identified successfully. 

The face reader is a contactless time clock that works quickly and accurately. It eliminates the need for employees to touch the clock, so a line of employees can quickly clock in/out. 

Additionally, because it’s touchless, it creates a germ-free way for employees to clock in/out. 

How Does the Face Reader Work?

The face reader is a fast and reliable way to track employee attendance. Although it may cost slightly more than the finger reader, most employers prefer the face reader. 

What is the Combo Face Reader and Finger Reader?

biometric time clock combo reader

The combo face reader and finger reader is a biometric time clock that offers the option to use either the face reader or finger scanner. This allows for greater flexibility and accuracy. 

How Does the Combo Face Reader and Finger Reader Work?

The combo time clock can be a great way to give your employees more freedom in how they choose to clock in/out, while also providing you with accurate employee attendance data.

How Does the Combo Face Reader and Finger Reader Compare to Other Clocks?

Overall, the combo face reader and finger reader is a great option for businesses not on a tight budget.

For a few hundred dollars extra, it may be worth it to have the flexibility to have both biometric methods available. 

Essentially, it’s two clocks in one. 

How Do Biometric Time Clocks Prevent Employee Time Theft? 

Biometric time clocks provide a secure method of tracking employee attendance and access. 

With facial recognition and fingerprint scanning, biometric time clocks can help small businesses combat employee time theft. And employers can rest assured that their employees are physically there when clocking in/out. Thus eliminating “buddy punching” and time theft. 

How Accurate are Biometric Time Clocks?

Biometric time clocks are unparalleled in their accuracy, as the data collected is not only highly specific but also strengthened by proprietary mathematical algorithms that can't be replicated. This guarantees that each employee's identity is verified. 

Generally speaking, facial recognition technology has proven to be more precise than fingerprint scanning; however both offer dependable authentication. Ultimately, the exactness of a biometric time clock relies on its implementation  – but rest assured that your attendance data will remain secure no matter which option you choose!

Are Biometric Time Clocks Legal?

Biometric time clocks are legal to use in most places of employment. However, it is important to make sure that the employee has agreed to the data being collected and how it’s used.

Laws vary based on location, so always be sure to check your local regulations before implementing a biometric time clock. Additionally, you should create a policy that notifies the employee of any changes made to their data or information.

Do Biometric Time Clocks Work if you Lose Power?

Yes, most biometric time clocks are designed to store data even if the power goes out. Some will turn off, but their data should remain intact. 

Additionally, you can use a computer battery backup to continue clock-ins and clock-outs in case of a power outage. This way your employees don't have to worry about having missing punches in case you lose power. 

How Much Do Biometric Time Clocks Cost?

When it comes to biometric time clocks, there is a wide range of prices and features available. Each type has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages when it comes to cost.

  • The Finger Reader- costs about $500
  • The Face Reader - costs about $1,000
  • The Combo Face and Finger Reader- costs about $1,200

How do you Track the Data?

There are two types of software:

  1. Software you install on your computer - The data is stored within the clock, and you have to manually retrieve it. Additionally, you have to do your own software updates, you have to do your own backups, and you have to make sure your specific PC works. 
  2. Cloud-based - You can access it using any PC with access to the internet. Both the program and the data are stored on the Cloud so you don’t have to worry about software updates or backups. 
An important point to remember is that for the Cloud-based software subscription service that connects with the face reader, there will be a weekly charge of $1.10 per employee plus a $5.00 flat fee for each time clock you have. 

Overall, biometric time clocks provide a more secure environment for punching in/out and can reduce fraud, eliminate time theft, improve attendance, and save business owners money. 

Plus, with models like the face reader available for under $1000, it’s an affordable solution that will pay for itself quickly and provide long-term benefits. 

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