Why do biometric time clocks fail? Is it because they can all be spoofed? Do they fail because they are too expensive? Or perhaps because unions reject many types of biometric clocks? All of these reasons can contribute to a failure to adopt biometric time clocks.

Here are the top 3 reasons biometric time clocks fail:


1 – False Negatives, also called false rejects

What is a false negative? A false negative is when the correct employee is attempting to punch in but the biometric reader cannot verify the employee’s identity. Although biometric technology has improved greatly over time, this still remains a critical issue. Even Apple had a false negative during the unveiling of the iPhone X event with its new facial recognition. How frustrating is it when an honest employee is trying to get to work and they are required to deal with a “technical” issue like a false rejection? They must get at minimum their supervisor involved to solve this problem.

Solution: Avoid technologies that do not allow the user to punch in, even with a false reject.

2 – Limited hardware options

Most biometric time clocks are single-purpose and expensive. A handprint reader does one thing very well– it reads hands. Same with most fingerprint readers. Spending money buying hardware that can only do this single purpose can be a challenge. The best biometric solutions should run on any mobile hardware; giving you the most flexibility to choose the best fit for your organization. In addition, the hardware will be less expensive and can perform multiple functions, such as GPS tracking, communication, email, run other apps, etc.

Solution: Go with a solution that can run on both iOS and Android devices for full flexibility.

3 – Inconvenience to the employee

Most biometric time clocks are very foreign to hourly workers who haven’t used them. Although singular in function, misunderstanding proper usage can lead to frustration and also abuse. A time clock should be both secure and convenient. If the device is so secure that nobody can easily use it, what good is it? If 1 in 20 employee’s biometrics cannot be accurately read each shift, the supervisor will also be frustrated by having to deal with “IT” issues rather than doing their core job. Using smartphones or tablets is a great way to provide the most intuitive, easy to use device for your employees.


Solution: Provide a solution for an employee with security to prevent buddy punching, ghost employees, and supervisor fraud but at the same time, is also highly intuitive and requires little to no training.


So, what is the best biometric option to help solve all of these challenges? The right facial recognition device running on iOS or Android utilizing an exception workflow for false rejections is the best way to easily implement a biometric clock solution and with the least disruption and frustration to both line-level workers and supervisors.

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