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Workforce Magazine Dives into the Motivations behind Employer Adoption of Biometric Technology for Tracking Time and Attendance

A recent article published by Workforce magazine takes a look at why employers are using biometric technology and automation to track employee time and attendance. Biometric technology uses computerized methods to identify a person by their unique physical characteristics. Time collection devices that utilize biometrics clock employees in and out by identifying them based on their biometric match (via a fingerprint reader or other data scan). Data collected via a biometric time collection device automatically flows into the time and attendance software. This workforce management trend continues to gain traction with employers with hourly, distributed workforces.

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4 Reasons Why Employers Use Biometric Technology to Track Time and Attendance:

  1. To eliminate buddy punching.

Buddy punching, defined as the practice of punching another employee in or out when they aren’t there, is the form of time theft most easily thwarted by biometrics. A 2009 study by Harris Interactive Inc. showed that 21% of hourly employees admit to stealing company time, with 5% of that attributed to buddy punching. With a biometric enabled time clock, employees have no way of punching in for people who aren’t actually on site.

  1. To make time and attendance and payment data more defensible.

With automated time tracking, employers are able to prove that they have paid employees for the hours that they have worked. These records are more important than ever as lawsuits involving fair wage practices have steadily inclined in recent years. With the built-in audit trail of a digital system, along with the added reassurance that data was collected with biometrics, employers have the proof they need to combat faulty wage and hour compliance cases.

  1. To increase efficiency.

Upgrading to an automated system with biometrics can greatly speed up the process of collecting time and processing payroll. Payroll systems that are not integrated with a time and attendance system require hours of paperwork and manual entry so that employees can be paid on time.  By using a time and attendance system that is automated and integrated with payroll, time collected flows through the system and populates the necessary payroll software to ensure a smooth and quick exchange. Grant Kaufman, Director of Operations at Yarco Co., found that they were able to cut the time it took to process payroll by 90% and eliminated one full-time payroll staffer once they adopted an integrated time and attendance system.

  1. To benefit employees.

Although initially employers may meet some resistance from employees who do not want to change their time and attendance process, most employees quickly realize the benefits. With an automatic biometric system, employees get paid sooner, data entry errors are minimized and they no longer have the responsibility of remembering the hours they worked. However, proper training and education about how biometrics and automated time tracking is essential in order to gain employee buy-in. Educating employees about how biometric scans are recorded as a binary data stream and NOT an actual fingerprint image, is equally important for skeptical employees. Once properly educated, employees will find it easy to punch in.


Want to learn how biometric time clocks and automated time tracking can help impact your bottom line? Set up a demonstration of EPAY’s biometric time clocks and cloud based time and attendance system today!

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