Owl Blog

Finally, Biometrics for Small Business

Running a business is hard work, and often owners wear many hats – from HR to Operations to Payroll and the list goes on. Automated software is an effective way for small businesses to speed up and improve the process of calculating hours. Once you’’ve selected software for your company you’re faced with the tough choice of using swipe cards or a biometric device. With so many options out there, it’s hard to know what a small business really needs.

Why choose a biometric system over swipe cards?

You may discover the problem of “buddy punching” at locations where management is not always on site. However, installing a biometric device can be a great solution for small organizations, even if time theft is not an issue because implementing a biometric device can eliminate the problem of lost swipe cards and even quicken the process of punching in.

While there are multiple hi-tech options, keeping in mind your company’s goals and culture will help to decide which device is right for you and make implementation of a biometric device a success. We’’ve outlined a quick snapshot of choices available to small businesses, along with the pros and cons:

Facial Recognition

  • Reads facial shape
  • Fail-proof, reads quickly
  • Non-invasive
  • Hi-tech look and feel

Facial recognition technology has recently become available as an affordable solution for small business. This advanced technology is fool-proof and reads faces extremely quickly, delivering very good read rates. Employees love the “007” cool factor of facial recognition devices, which helps them to adapt quickly and encourages usage.

Hand Punch

  • Reads the geometry of hand
  • Fail-proof
  • Non-invasive
  • Bulky hardware

The Hand Punch has been on the market for years and is proven technology. It is easy to use, hard to fool and robust for all types of environments. Employees generally adapt quickly to using the device, although it is slightly bulky in appearance.


  • Reads fingerprint
  • Best for clean work environments
  • Inconsistent reading
  • Invasive

Fingerprint devices have also been around for several years but are mostly recommended for clean work environments, such as clean manufacturing, offices and medical and dental clinics. Dirt, moisture or dust can prove to be problematic in reading fingerprints and will deliver low read rates. If the unit fails to read consistently, employees tend to stop using and push back. Fingerprint units do have potential to be fooled –— in one instance an employee made prosthetic fingers to clock in absent employees! Read the full story from BBC News. In addition, employees generally find fingerprint devices slightly invasive and worry about potential storage of their fingerprints.

Now that Biometric systems are finally affordable for small businesses, no matter what your company size you can benefit from this advanced technology. Whether you’re looking to eleminate “buddy punching”, avoid lost swipe cards, or simply streamline your punching in process, a biometric device is the perfect solution.